If you follow me you will know that I love a good ol’ baking session with my little man. The benefit of it being that I also get to eat what I create; win win. As the season of gluttonous goodwill approached I thought I would have a stab at Mince Pies. The seasons traditional sweet treat; along with many others that have entered my mouth already and will continue to do so until they stop selling them (Valentines? Easter maybe?) On perusing traditional recipes, I’m looking at you Delia, Mincemeat seems a horrendous faff so I decided to cheat and pick up some ready made stuff from my local LIDL as ‘Every LIDL helps’… right? Indeed it does. So here are my Mince Pie baking hacks with LIDL.
There were actually choices of Mincemeat, much obliged LIDL thank you, and I went for the ‘Deluxe Brandy & Ginger’ flavour. The plainer one was in a huge jar which I didn’t really need and to be honest the ‘Brandy & Ginger’ looked pretty dapper sitting there on the shelf all Deluxe and ginger like. The other Deluxe option was ‘Rum & Raisin’ but Ive never been a fan of the ice cream variety and so bypassed that.
I also used the chilled ‘Ready Rolled Shortcrust Pastry’ that they sell as Ive never has huge luck with getting pastry quite right. Its already rolled out and ready to go; no faffing to be seen in my kitchen today thank you.
I realised once I had returned home that I was lacking in the fundamentals of Mince Pie creation; pastry cutters. In true hacker style I am about to share with you an amazing secret that I would have otherwise taken to my grave… the pint glass.
Yes ladies and gents, I found that the rim of a pint glass is utter perfection for a Mince Pie base. Obviously this is possibly a step better left to you (unless you have older children, or in fact, pastry cutters.)
The jar of ‘Deluxe Brandy & Ginger Mincemeat’ was the perfect amount for 12 pies, or one full afternoons devouring worth.
Now this part may be a bit tricky, adult supervision absolutely vital; spoon the Mincemeat into the party bases. Phew… give yourself a pat on the back. Mary Berry would be proud.
My vision was to pop little stars on to the top of the Mincemeat to add a magical, Christmassy touch (all for the short period that they will reside in my cake tin devour being brutally devoured) However due to the aforementioned problem of there being a lack of pastry cutters in the Rock and Roses household I had to make do with the Starfish cutter I had once bought in a set of sea life creature cutters for the small mans first ‘nautical’ Birthday Party. That works right? Well it would just have to!
Now I did get the small prince involved in this part as he loves using the oceanic cutters (I know what you’re thinking; if he loves cutters why do we not own more cutters? Well Im not even sure of the answer to that question.. clearly I need to add them to our Christmas shopping list!)
I was dubious about the wonky legs of the Starfish, nothing against Starfish but I wasn’t sure they would pass as Christmas stars. However, they looked pretty good actually, if I may say so myself. Im pretty sure no one would ever question the validity of my stars but I am now happy that the validity does not necessitate questioning.
I was entirely chuffed with these bad boys. And you don’t have to let on that you hacked your way through the Mince Pie creation… just let the compliments flow.
(Maybe just don’t leave them in the oven for too long as i did… they take around 20 mins but keep your festive eyes on them just in case)
Best enjoyed warm with a cuppa tea. Yule tide bliss.