Mince Pies with a Sweet Cinnamon Pastry

Using the mincemeat I made from mum’s vintage recipe book, I made up a batch of sweet cinnamon pastry and turned out some gorgeous tasting mince pies.

200g Plain flour
5ml Ground Cinnamon
Pinch salt
50g Lard
50g Butter
25g Sugar
30ml (approx.) Cold water

1. Place the flour and cinnamon in a large bowl with the salt.
2. Cut the lard and the butter into small cubes and rub the fat into your flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
3. Stir in the sugar.
4. Add most of the water and mix together with a table knife until a dough forms.  You will need to adjust the water depending on your mixture.
5. Turn the dough out onto a floured board and quickly bring it together.
6. Wrap it in cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to cool.
7. Preheat your oven to 220C.
8. Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out on a floured board.
9. Cut round shapes to fit the cake/muffin tin you are using.
10. Place the pastry rounds into your tin, being careful not to puncture the pastry (the mince pies will stick in the tin if you do).
11. Fill the pastry cases 1/2 way up and place a cut out shape of leftover pastry on the top.
12. Cook for 15 minutes until the pastry is golden brown (the pastry will be slightly darker than normal due to the sugar and cinnamon content.
13. Remove to a cooling rack and allow to cool a little.
14. Enjoy with a cup of coffee and perhaps a dollop of my rum butter that will melt through.

Well…. I had to have a bite to check they were ok, didn’t I?

Rosie’s Christmas Rum butter

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Tradition in our house is to serve Christmas pudding with rum butter. Why rum? Well my dad was a Submariner in the Royal Navy when he was younger and is still partial to a ‘tot’ of rum that they used to be served on board daily. Mum therefore created her own accompaniment based on this love of rum and it’s been served up ever since.

It’s so easy to make; just 3 simple ingredients.

250g (8oz) butter, softened
500g (1lb) icing sugar
A good splash (or even a glug) of dark rum

I trust the wonderful Kenny to whizz this together for me, but you can use a hand mixer if you don’t have one of these gorgeous machines.

1. Add all the ingredients to a large bowl.

2. Start by mixing slowly until the icing sugar and butter are just combined (starting slowly prevents a huge sugar dust storm enveloping the whole of you & your kitchen).

3. When this is just combined, turn the speed up to maximum and beat for 4-5 minutes until light & fluffy.

4. Taste and add more rum if required.

5. Spoon into little dishes and refrigerate until required.

This will keep for as long as your butter is in date. In this case about 6 weeks until 6th February 2012. No chance of that in my house of course as the family are coming for Christmas dinner and all adore rum butter on their pudding. It’s also got to last until Christmas day (I’ll be watching for the fridge raiders!)

A tasty alternative is to heat a mince pie for 20 seconds in the microwave and then add a generous dollop of your rum butter on top. Leave for a short while to start to melt the butter & enjoy with your feet up whilst listening to a lovely Christmas carol or two!

Alternatives to rum would be any liqueur or spirit such as whisky, brandy, Grand Marnier (for an orange kick).

Let me know if you try it.

Merry Christmas!

Rosie
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