Friday, 13 December 2013

Mutant mince pies

Last night was our Playcentre Christmas party, and as we had to take in a plate each, I thought I'd go with the British Christmas staple, Mince pies.  I've done them before, they're not particularly complicated, and I am vaguely northern  after all, and we're supposed to be good at pies and the like.

When I say I've made them before, it's nots something I've done once or twice, I've done them quite a bit, and pies in general I've made more times than I could count, so it should have been straight forward, should.  My first error was leaving them until the last minute, which meant that there was no time to substitute for something different (better) if they went wrong.  Last minute baking also meant that buying pastry seemed easier than making it.  Making pastry isn't hard, particularly rough puff, which is what I prefer for pies, but being short of time (and lazy) it just seemed easier to buy a packet. Mistake, big mistake.  What I didn't consider, is that my puff pastry, is slightly less technical, it has that night puffiness that stops it from being too dry or stodgy, but it doesn't puff as much as bought puff pastry.........
My second mistake was that I couldn't find a proper pastry cutter, so I used a couple of glasses, the smaller of which, might have just been a bit too small, so I didn't get a decent seal around the top of the pies.  Added to this Fruit Mince (not mince meat over here by the way, more on that later) is a bit wetter in texture than I'm used to.

Mutant mince pies

The mutant mince pies have exploded

Not exactly the neat little mince pies that I'd planned, they didn't look too bad when covered in a little icing sugar, although quite a bit of the filling had fallen out. Sadly some of it fell onto my foot, which wouldn't have been an issue if I hadn't been bare foot at the time, it being summer over here, molten mince meat on bare skin hurts. A lot.  I mentioned before, that it's not mince meat over here, and it isn't really, the only kind that I could find doesn't have suet in it, which is probably why it's a little runnier.  They're not mince pies either (mutant or otherwise) as that is what minced beef pies are called.  Usually they're known as Christmas mince pies, or minced fruit pies or something.  When we first moved over here, there was a new Crisp (sorry, chip) flavour out called mince pie and tomato sauce, I remember being horrified at the idea of having a mince pie flavoured crisps, and them having tomato sauce added to the mix, until I realised.

The kids had a great time at the party though, and meeting Santa, although Anja wasn't too keen to get very close, and who can blame her, strange man, dressed in a furry red suit.  The older kids were thrilled though.