Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

21 December 2009

More on the Mince Pies

Here are a few more tips for budding mince pie chefs.

1. Unless you are in the habit of making pies during the year, make a small first batch. Making pies once a year is a bit like making pancakes...the first ones are never very good. Best not to use up too much of your delicious home made fruit mince on dud pies.

2. Use an egg wash on the inside of the lids to stick them down and an egg and milk wash on the top of the lids. An egg wash top and bottom is just too...well...egg-y.

3. If you live in the southern hemisphere, they are best cooked first thing in the morning or else in the evening when it isn't so hot. It takes me about an hour in the preparation...and having pastry out on the bench for an hour in the heat just doesn't work. If you must bake in the heat of the afternoon, keep your pastry under a damp tea towel.

4. Trim excess pastry off the edges of the pies before you put them in the oven for the perfect pie.

5. If your fruit mix is nice and juicy, the juice will inevitably bubble out of the air holes during the cooking and run all over your pastry lids. But once the pies are out of the oven and have cooled just a little, you can actually wipe off the juice with a clean damp cloth for near perfect results. And when dusted with icing sugar they'll win awards.

6. For those, such as myself, who use pre-rolled pastry from the supermarket DO NOT use low fat pastry! Even if you have spent an hour lining your pie tins, putting in the mix, putting on the lids and getting them all ready for oven and you check the cooking time on the packet one more time and discover that you mistakenly purchased low fat pastry, even still DO NOT PROCEED hoping that it will all be OK, as I did with my second batch of 24, no less! IT WILL NOT WORK. They will not be nice. Pastry is not meant to be low fat. Low fat pastry cooks into a cardboard-like consistency and is a complete waste of good fruit mince.

With these six tips, along with the right fruit mince, you have everything you need to know to make the real deal. Enjoy.

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