I LOVE Christmas. I love the decorations, I love the food, I love wrapping presents and I love seeing friends I never seem to have time to catch up with the rest of the year. We have an annual mince pie and mulled wine open house on the last weekend before Christmas. For us it's the official start to the Christmas holidays and a great ways to reconnect with our friends and neighbours. We drink all things mulled, eat things wrapped in pastry and generally get merry.Now I love a mince pie and a traditional one at that. But this year I want to do something a bit more exciting. So please welcome the Mince Pie Pop! When my children saw these they went bonkers. What could be better than pie on a stick I ask you? Not much if you're three I tell you.
Anyway - the die-hard mince pie people of this world probably won't like these. If you're a take-the-lid-off-and-fill-with-brandy-butter kind of person then these aren't for you. But if you're after something fun with a bit of a wow factor then give these a whirl. They're pretty easy really. In fact they could be totally stress free if you buy your pastry and mincemeat from a supermarket.
For the pastry (feel free to use shop bought shortcrust) 225g plain flour 140g cold butter cut into small cubes (I use salted butter and don't add extra salt - if you use unsalted add 1 tsp salt) ice cold water
For the mincemeat Try my best ever mincemeat recipe or use your favourite shop bought version.
You will also need a star-shaped cutter (mine is quite large) and cake pop sticks which I could in my local hardware shop, but there are tonnes of people selling them online.
Pre heat your oven to 180c
Put your flour into a food mixer and add your butter. Blitz for about 10 seconds until it resembles breadcrumbs (you can do this by hand but it takes longer).
Tip the crumb mixture into another bowl and add 4tbsp ice-cold water. Mix with a knife and gently pull together the dough. It may need another tablespoon of water if it seems to dry. Use your hands to lightly squeeze the dough together.
Avoid using too much water - a crumbly mix means a lighter. crisper pastry. If I think mine is still too dry I dip my finger tips in the water and usually that moisture is enough to pull it together. Wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for a bit.
Flour your side and roll out your pastry (I did mine in two batches). When you think it's thin enough roll it again and then again - it needs to be thin.
Cut out your star shapes. Transfer half the stars to baking sheets. And top with mincemeat - just keep it in the centre - it will squidge down the "arms" of the stars when you put the lids on.
Put a stick into the centre of each pie. Be careful not to handle them too much or you'll end up with dark grease marks on the sticks after baking. (However your could cover your sticks with washi tape to hide the marks).
Egg wash around the edges of your stars and then top with another star. Use a fork to crimp the edges and bake for 15 minutes or so until golden brown.
Carefully lift them off of the baking tray with a spatula and leave to cool on a wire rack. When they're cool you can carefully pack them into air tight containers. They keep really well for four or five days.