'Sing while you bake'

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Recipe of the Month : December

Add a little extra spice to mince pies and make your mincemeat go further by adding grated apple and stem ginger!

English Singing Bakerx



For the pastry


6 oz (150g) plain flour


3 oz (75g) butter, chilled and cubed


Cold water


For the filling


A jar of mincemeat (your favourite or whichever you can find!)


2 eating apples eg braeburn, peeled and grated to the core


A couple of knobs of stem ginger, drained from syrup


An egg or a couple of tablespoons of milk to glaze and stick

A large bowl


A fork


A tablespoon


12-hole bun tin


A large circular cutter and festive smaller cutter of your choice


A pastry brush


1.First make the pastry. Sift the flour into a big mixing bowl and add the cubed butter. Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. (Top Tip - Rubbing in means rubbing the butter into the flour using your forefinger and thumb to make the two ingredients become one.)


2.When the mix is like breadcrumbs, add the cold water into the flour and butter a tablespoon at a time. Stir the mix with a fork and add the water until the dough comes together into a ball with no extra flour at the bottom of the bowl. (Top Tip - The best pastry is made with the ingredients - butter and water - as cold as they can be.)When it is a ball, wrap it in baking parchment and chill for 30 minutes. (Top tip - the reason to chill the dough is to give the gluten time to relax and the butter to chill  so the dough will be easier to roll out.)


3.Preheat the oven to 180'C and grease a 12-hole bun tin with butter on a sheet of kitchen roll.Prepare the apple and ginger before you get the pastry out of the fridge. Then roll out the pastry, on a clean work surface, to about 1/2 cm thick and cut out 12 circles the size of the hole in the tin with a circular cutter. Then re-roll the pastry and cut out a shape for the top of the pie. I like to mix up the shapes and use Christmassy shapes like holly leaves and stars but you can keep it simple and cut out another circle.


4.Put the bigger circles into the tin and fill with about a teaspoon of mincemeat. On top of the mincemeat add another teaspoon of either ginger or apple.


5.When all of the pies are full, use a pastry brush or piece of kitchen roll to glaze around the edge of the pies and then stick on the lids. Bake for 15-20 minutes in the preheated oven until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.


6.Cool in the tins and release with a knife before putting on a plate and sprinkling with a avalanche of caster sugar snow.


1. December December