All About History - - THROUGH HISTORY -

01 To prep: chop/mince the beef and suet into small pieces, do the same with the candied lemon, or­ange and cit­ron. Grate the or­ange and lemon zest and squeeze out the juice, dis­card­ing the pips. Chop the stewed pears and gin­ger into small pieces.

02 Mix all the in­gre­di­ents for the mince to­gether in a large bowl us­ing your hands or a wooden spoon for a minute or so un­til the in­gre­di­ents are evenly dis­trib­uted. Trans­fer the mix­ture to a saucepan and heat over a very low heat for three to five hours, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally.

03 Pre­heat the oven to 200C/400F/GAS 6.

04 Sift the flour into a large mix­ing bowl and add the but­ter in cubes. Rub the cubes into the flour us­ing your fin­ger­tips un­til it has the con­sis­tency of bread­crumbs. Grad­u­ally add a ta­ble­spoon of wa­ter at a time to the pas­try mix­ture un­til it comes to­gether as a stiff dough. 05 Empty the dough onto a lightly-floured work sur­face and knead un­til smooth and elas­tic. Roll out the pas­try to a thick­ness of 1cm and cut into discs us­ing an up­turned bowl. Place a mug in the cen­tre of each disc and draw the sides of pas­try up against it to make the case.

06 Di­vide your mince­meat mix­ture evenly be­tween the pas­try cases.

07 Roll out the re­main­ing dough again and us­ing the mug, cut eight lids. Place each lid on top of its pie and pinch the pas­try to­gether to pre­vent leak­age. Us­ing a knife, cut a cross or a pat­tern into the top of each lid to al­low steam to es­cape.

08 Place the pies onto a bak­ing tray and bake in the oven for 20 min­utes, or un­til the pas­try is gold­en­brown. Re­move the mince pies from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

09 Eat, and have a very Merry Christ­mas.

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