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How To Make Homemade Mince pies

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Mince pies have been eaten from England for many centuries. It was originally made with shredded meat, like lamb or pork. It was seasoned with spices like cinnamon, cloves and allspice. This is how this humble pie, came about its name. The pies at that time were bigger and oblong in shape. We are now left with a small round shaped pastry, filled with dried fruit and spices. You can make these homemade mince pies, during the long winter days or the festive periods.
What you'll need: 
A jar of mincemeat
350g Plain flour
225g butter
100g caster sugar
1 egg beaten
Rolling pin (optional)
Round pastry cutter
Cup cake or muffin tin
A big bowl
A pastry brush
To make the pastry, put flour, caster sugar and butter in the bowl. Rub the ingredients together, until it roughly resembles breadcrumbs. Use your fingers to form the pastry into a ball, knead it briefly. The dough will be quite firm, like shortbread dough. You can now use the dough straight away, or you can wrap it in cling film, to chill in the fridge for use later.
When ready, preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
Grease the cup cake tin individually. Take small balls of pastry and pat them in your hand forming pastry circles. If you find it hard you can use a rolling to form circles. Line the cup cake tin with the pastry circles. Add a spoonful of mincemeat to each mince pie base.
Take slightly smaller balls of pastry than before, pat in your hands to make round lids to cover the pie. Again you can use the rolling pin to form the shape. Place the lid shape on the pies, press the top and bottom edges firmly together.
Brush the tops of the pies with egg. This will give them a golden colour when cooked. Prick the middle of the pies with a fork; this will stop the filling from forcing itself out through the edges.
Bake in the oven for roughly 20 minutes or until golden brown. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, and remove them to a wire rack.
You may find that your homemade mince pies, tastes better than the store bought ones. They are great for parties, and can be eaten hot or cold.
If you find the pastry too dry, you can add beaten egg to form the pastry.
You can sprinkle icing sugar on the mince pies after removing from the oven.
If you are serving to vegetarians, make sure the mincemeat doesn’t have suet in it. Also, you can add some extra spices of your liking to the mincemeat, for example, cinnamon or allspice.
You can also use milk to glaze the top of the mince pies.


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