Weekend workshop

On Fridays I (Ruth) will set you a challenge to complete over the weekend.

If you fancy requesting a challenge, or sending photos of your completed efforts, email me at yummymummycookingschool@gmail.com

For Sunday 4th December

Plain and simple mince pies

200g/8oz Plain flour
100g/4oz unsalted butter
1 egg, beaten
A jar of mincemeat, (you will only use about a quarter of it I expect)


•Oven on to 220'c/gas 7
•Rub together the flour and butter in a bowl until it looks like fine bread crumbs
(Tip - Use your fingers and not your whole hands to prevent the butter getting to warm and melting)
•Bring the mixture together using a dessert spoon of cold water at a time, it won't take much. Once the dough can be shaped into a firm ball it is ready. If it is sticky then too much water has been added so just rub in a little more flour to correct it.
•Wrap your dough in cling film and chill in the fridge for 20-30 minutes. This gives it time to rest making a less chewy pastry.
•Once it is rested it's time to roll. Lightly flour your work surface and your rolling pinand roll out your fought to about 5mm thick
•Cut circles with a round cutter
•Beaten egg time. Use a pastry brush to egg wash the edges of half the circles. These circles will form the bottom of your mince pies. Place them egg side up into your bun tins
•Fill each bottom with a teaspoon of mincemeat
•Take the second lot of circles, your lids, place them on top of your previous ones and press the edges together, (the egg wash is like cooks glue)
•egg wash the tops and sprinkle with a little bit of sugar if you like
• make a small slit in the top of each pie, about 5 mm, this let's the steam out so they will have crisper pastry and are less likely to seep around the edges
•Cook for about 20minutes, until golden brown

Alternatives and Cheats

You could follow the same method, but use ready made short crust pastry or even puff pastry.
My friend Dannie and I tried out a few alternative fillings, and the best one was this;
Apple and cinnamon
Take one small eating apple, dice really small, mix with two dessert spoons of brown sugar and a level teaspoon of cinnamon. Make your pies the same way as traditional just add the alternative filling, these were very nice in puff pastry too
Alternative short crust pastry, once you have rubbed together the flour and butter, add the finely grated zest of one large orange and use it's juice to bring your pastry together