Mince pies are not a French dish by any stretch of the imagination but we decided to include this recipe in the French cuisine section because all of our French friends and neighbours love them when we bring them over from the UK or make them in our kitchen in France.
“Mince” pies are made from “mincemeat,” which doesn’t contain contains meat though in olden days chopped meat, liver and boiled eggs were all ingredients as well as sweet fried fruit and ginger. It was during the 1600s that the meat was replaced with suet (a beef or sheep fat) and eventually the filling became completely sweet; traditionally made mince still has a large element of suet. Make your own ready to use straight away mincemeat to go with them (mincemeat recipe).
If you make these mince pies at home – remember to only stir the mincemeat mixture clockwise because stirring it counter clockwise is bad luck for the upcoming year!
8oz/230g Plain Flour
2oz/60g Vegetable Fat
Pinch of Salt
Grated Rind and Juice of 1 Orange
Mincemeat: enough to fill all the circles without overfilling!
Pre-heat the oven 200 C/ 400F/Gas Mk 6.
Grease a 12 hole patty tin.
Sieve the flour with the salt into a basin and mix well. Cube the margarine and vegetable fat and rub it into the flour lightly with the tips of your fingers.
Continue rubbing until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs and there remains no dry flour in the basin. Mix in the finely grated rind of the orange. Add 10 teaspoons of the orange juice and mix to soft dough. The dough should be soft enough to roll easily, but it must not be at all sticky as wet pastry means a heavy crust.
Roll out lightly on a floured board and using fluted pastry cutters cut out circles to fit the patty tin. Press the circles lightly in the holes and fill with mincemeat (do not overfill). Cut out small discs to make lids and place over top of each pie. Prick each top with a fork. Alternatively we used pastry shapes for the tops…..stars, holly, Christmas trees etc. for a festive twist!
Brush with beaten egg and bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown. Place on a wire rack and serve warm!
Mmmm… yum miam!
Festive wishes to you all