My Mince Pies They Taste Lovely But Look Awful

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kah22

My Mince Pies They Taste Lovely But Look Awful

From a presentation point of view my first batch of mince pies are a disaster! They taste lovely but they are certainly not of a standard to present to friends for a Christmas present.

OK down to basics. I’m using a twelve hole patti tin 1 inch deep. I greased the side of the individual holes with spray. I did not use pastry cases.

I used a pastry cutter to cut the pastry and pressed them into their individual compartments and used a fork to prick the bottom of each case.. I filled them with my mince pie mix and then put on the cap into which I cut a cross to act as a vent.

To be honest I’m not 100 percent sure of how best to fit pastry into a patty tin, I guess using a cut out circle would be the best way, though I see on the internet people just putting a ball of pastry in the base of the compartment and working it around and up that way.

Another difficulty I’m having is with putting the cap on the actual pie. I’ve used a smaller circle, two sizes down, damped around the edge of the inside of the cap and tried to attach it that way but to be honest it is hit and miss, I haven’t got the technique.

That’s where I’m at. The mince pies themselves ooze liquid when cooking with the result that you have a syrup working it’s way around the top and side of the pies. Even though I’ve let them cool completely I’m having difficulty getting them all out of the tray.

While they mightn’t be very presentable, they will do for Christmas morning bites and, well, if any of the family complains well to bad 

So can any members’ offers advice as to what might be my problem: how far should the mince come up to in the case, how best to line and top the pastry.

As always many thanks for help and advice offered.

Kevin

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Yummy

Mince pies

Eat them Kevin, and have another go :) !!

When I roll out the pastry I always do the tops first and set them aside, and always only go 1 size smaller than I do for the bottoms, this way you will get a better fit and the tops will be cut from the first lot of rolling (much more presentable.

then if you need to re-roll your pastry, for the bottoms it won't really matter that it isn't as pristine.

once the pastry is in the tins, don't overfill with the mincemeat, and then holding a pastry top in your hand brush the water all over and place on top, push down all round the edges with your little fingers and once you have done them all, go along with a small pair of scissors and just cut once in the middle, egg/milk wash and I always sprinkle a little caster sugar on top before they go into the oven. Hope this helps.

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violet eyes

mince pies

there's no need prick the bottom of the cases.

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Welshcookie

Mince pies

Or to grease the patty tins; which are to be truthful deeper than the ones I use. Just measured and they are 3/4 of an inch deep.

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kah22

My Mince Pies They Taste Lovely But Look Awful


"Eat them Kevin, and have another go :) !!"
Must admit that the really bad ones are history (they did taste nice :) )

Thanks for the tips so far. Would it make any difference if I blind baked the cases

Kevin

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Yummy

Mince pies

No need to blind bake the bottoms of the pies Kevin, when you have prepared your mince pies put the patty tins on a baking sheet that has been in the oven (i.e. hot) and then bake as normal, the heat from the baking sheet will start to cook the bottom of the pastry,

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Queen of Puds

Mince pies

We all make them a little differently, depending how we were taught & how we have adjusted over the years. I suspect the issue is a combination of the recipe you use for your pastry, a bit too much mincemeat, or the mincemeat is too juicy (so aim for the fruity lumps & avoid adding lots of liquidy juice), & maybe the shape of your patty tins isn't helping. Pastry will be more likely to stick, in my view, if it has a lower fat content. I never grease the tins (mine are non stick, are quite shallow and have gently sloping sides) but then I also use a high fat to flour ratio (175g plain flour, 50g SR flour, 175g cold chopped salted butter, 1 egg yolk, 50g icing sugar, grated zest of an orange, barely a dribble of very cold water, usual pastry method). Roll out - I use the large fluted cutter for the bases, the middle sized one for the lids, and let the weight of the mincemeat make the pastry descend into the patty tins. Pressing them in by hand could also make them stick, & over handling pastry will make it hard. I use a damp fingertip to trace the inside edges of the lids & then I use the smallest cutter to gently press the tops onto the filled cases. This seals the lid evenly to the base. I dab the tops with a little milk & sprinkle with granulated sugar before baking. I don't cut steam holes, and I leave them for less than 5 mins after baking before gently easing one edge up with a narrow thin blade spatula until they pop into my hand. It depends whether you are prepared to alter any of the above - because my way is only my way, at the end of the day. But I think I would try altering each aspect of what you do to see if it improves, until you have a system you are personally happy with! :)

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kah22

My Mince Pies They Taste Lovely But Look Awful

Queen of Puds that’s a very good detailed reply, unfortunately I’ve never been taught how to do things, I rely on sites like Delia’s and demos on Youtube but I’m getting there – hopefully!

My sweet pastry recipe is 350g flour, 125 g of Stork block margarine (I use Stork because one of my friends is lactose intolerant, occasionally I’ll use butter if I know he’ll not be getting any) 125 g sugar and two eggs plus one egg yolk. That avoids me having to use any water. It’s the Richard Bertinet recipe for sweet pastry.

I agree, I’ve probably used two much mincemeat. I’m also inclined to think that my patty tin has seen better days and is way too deep. It might be true to say it is more of a muffin tin that a tin for the like of mincemeat pies. I might, just might, invest in a new set before Christmas.

Like yourself I use the large fluted cutter for the bases, the middle sized one for the lids, but I must confess that I never thought of letting the weight of the mincemeat push the pastry down. A good tip I must try that and I suppose it works much better

The tip about using the smallest cutter to gently press the tops onto the filled cases also seems interesting, I’ll definitely try that. By the way when you talk about the smallest cutter are you talking about the one you used to cut out the top, or are you talking about the smallest in the set?

Thanks for all the replies to date I hope others are also learning from these replies

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Noreen, Board Moderator

Mince pies

Are you using this recipe?
http://tinyurl.com/y989te4

If not, I urge you to try it, I use it eery year with no problem and the picture show you how the base should be lined.

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kah22

My Mince Pies They Taste Lovely But Look Awful

It's Delia's sweet mince recipe that I use.

My pastry recipe is as above.
350g flour,
125 g of Stork block margarine (I use Stork because one of my friends is lactose intolerant, occasionally I’ll use butter if I know he’ll not be getting any)
125 g sugar
2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk. (That avoids me having to use any water. It’s the Richard Bertinet recipe for sweet pastry.)

I think one of my major problems was the depth of the patty tins. Mine were really muffin tins, to deep I think so today I'm going to add two patty trays to my Christmas Amazon order which I hope to send off today, Sunday at the latest. I'm thinking of ordering one of each of:
http://tinyurl.com/ldbfhbs
and
http://tinyurl.com/n8da9g5

Most of the feedback that I'm getting suggests NOT filling the patty tins up to the top yet in the Delia recipe that Noreen points me to she says "Fill these with mincemeat to the level of the edges of the pastry."

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Yummy

Mince pie tart tins

They look good Kevin and nice and rounded at the bottom, should slide out easily.

If finances allow the Alan Silverwood are fantastic pans to work with, I have a few, and they are just washed in hot soapy water (must never put them in the dishwasher) and any sticky residue just washes off. they are more expensive, but worth every penny imo.
Delia has a promo on here and her own range with Alan Silverwood.

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sam from worthing

Pretty mince Pies


Have you thought about getting a star or snow flake or christmas tree shape cutter - rather than a solid round cutter, then you can lay the pastry top on top of your mincemeat, friends of mine have done this and they do look really pretty, so much so that i want to buy a festive cutter(s) that way there is less pastry and more yummy mincemeat.

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Queen of Puds

Mince pies

Hi there - yes, I use the middle size for cutting out the lids & the smallest (of my set of 3) to act as the tool to seal the lids.... I find I have always had warm hands, which isn't great for pastry making, so the reduced pastry handling & touching works for me - this is just one more way of keeping my fingers away from the pastry.

I'm all for trial & error - eventually you will come up with your own personal formula & can then adapt & improve over time.

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kah22

My Mince Pies They Taste Lovely But Look Awful

Second batch of mince pies and I'm getting there, hopefully.

I bought myself some new patty tins and they made all the difference. Easy to fit the pastry into and more important easy to take it out.

My brother reconed the pastry and the mince meat was to dry. I'm thinking that pehaps the reason for that is down to the thickness of the pastry.

In her Traditional Mince Pie recipe Delia says: 'Leave the pastry to rest .... then roll half of it out as thinly as possible' How thinly is 'as thinly as possible? My normal thickness for something like an apple tart would be about the thickness of a £1 coin but with the mince pies been so small I'm wondering should I role thinner.

What do you think? How thin is 'thinly as possible?'

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Welshcookie

Mince pies

Yes, the base pastry of the pies should be very thin. The top pastry can be thicker.

Roll it as thin as you dare. You'll soon get the hang of it.

If the mince pie filling is too dry cook them for less time. Maybe stir a little booze into the mincemeat.

 
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