Mince Pies they said... Easy they said... I fooled myself into believing I was a pastry expert having not made pastry in oh maybe 8 years and that was a once off occasion.
It all started when I "made" mince pies with my Mom a few weeks before Christmas. They were yummy. Full of confidence, I volunteered to make the mince pies for Christmas (as I knew this current batch wouldn't make it through the night).
|Mince Pies of Various Quality|
However, things weren't so idyllic when I began the process in my own little kitchen. In my mind I'd made mince pies perfectly that Sunday afternoon in my mother's kitchen. However, on reflection I realised what really happened:
- My mother made the pastry.
- I watched.
- My mother selected the temperature.
- I turned the dial.
- My mother told me how thick to roll the pastry and how to do it properly.
- I rolled the pastry.
- My mother chose a suitable diameter cutter.
- I cut the pastry.
- My mother chose a suitably shallow baking tray.
- I pressed the pastry into the tray.
- My mother dished out the mince pie filling.
- I watched.
- My mother placed the trays in the oven.
- I watched.
- My mother stated that they were ready.
- I removed them from the oven.
You see, to a child that would be baking mince pies but in reality I was my mother's assistant and I didn't really take in much of her advice. On realising this I turned to Nigella fooled by her knowledge of all things tarty. What a let down! I also decided to ignore my mother's suggestions and rolled the pastry too thick and made the pies too deep but really it was all Nigella's fault.
What was I to do with all these mediocre mince pies. I couldn't bring them home for Christmas. So I invited some friends over for mince pies and cream. Mwhahahahahaha. My friend's will eat anything. Success!
Time was ticking. I was now the morning of the 23rd of December and I had not packed, wrapped my presents, cleaned the house and of course produced the mince pies! I was also booked for the afternoon and evening. Lets just say there was a lot of flour split that morning. I turned my back on Nigella and entrusted my sanity in Gordon of all people but it was successful in fairness.
|Gordon Ramsay having the lols.|
In my frenzied state I doubled the recipe just incase I messed up again. I lost count of how many pies I made. It was beyond what was required for 7 people but not to worry my brother in law made sure none went to waste.
So in the end, everyone was happy and my celiac housemate didn't die despite the place being coated in flour. I would recommend Gordon Ramsey's Shortcrust Pastry as his videos make it very easy to follow and of course always listen to your mother :) Less is more when making mince pies, thin pastry, shallow pies, less filling and of course less pies!