3rd December

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Happy 3rd of December folks 🙂

3 (5Today’s mission should we chose to accept it is to (drum roll please)………..:make Mince Pies! Now Ian LOVES mince pies and for a few years took it upon himself to make them but….. truth be told they were pretty hard to eat! So…….. after perhaps giving Ian a little bit of cooking based stick Becksie feels the pressure to get these bad boys right! Now…… there are a million variations of mince pie recipes out there but this is the one we are going with today.3 (3

Now sweet pastry is not something that Becksie is very good at (double eeek) but a conversation with a very well respected WI member on Saturday at our cake stall revealed a few hints and tips. High fat content is the way to go for the crumbly effect (not so good for ones health but it is Christmas and we are balancing these out with Brussels and satsuma consumption). Icing sugar makes for perfect mince pie pastry, as little water as possible, freezing cold hands and……. minimal handling! Ok………… here goes:

For the pastry:

150 grams  plain flour

100 grams of very cold grated butter

1 1/2 tablespoons of icing sugar

1 beaten egg

With very chilly hands (we played our chilly game by placing them on the freezer door, Lizzie loves feeling the cold sensation but this time this wasn’t for fun this was VERY serious) rub the fat into the flour and icing sugar until you have breadcrumbs (you know the drill). Then add as little of the beaten egg as you can in order to bind it into a dough (keep the rest of the egg for glazing). Roll out the pastry until its as thick you like it (we could do a separate post on mince pie bottom thickness) on floured grease proof  paper and then cover it with another layer, place on a tray and chill it for at least half an hour.

3 (4Preheat the over to 190c.

Grease your tins with hot melted butter

Take the pastry out of the fridge and cut to your desired specification with your chosen cutter. Add a spoonful of mincemeat (small confession our jar is a pantry lurker since before the start of our year without supermarkets hence why it has not appeared in any of our recent shopping trips). Add a pastry top, wash with egg and bake for about 13 -15 minutes. We do not want soggy bottoms but by the same token we don’t want rock hard pastry (Ian hehe)!

The pastry was....... very crumbly but Team Pugh's answer to Paul Hollywood (aka Ian) said next batch needs thicker pastry...... yes sir!!

The pastry was……. very crumbly but Team Pugh’s answer to Paul Hollywood (aka Ian) said next batch needs thicker pastry…… yes sir!!

Cool, dust with icing sugar and enjoy!

3 (1As if this wasn’t enough action for today our kindness mission was to make a dress for dress a girl around the world. Now we haven’t blogged about this for a while but we are very proud to say that due to the kindness of many others Becksie has exceeded her personal 200 target. The dresses are waiting to go off to Louise but in order to save petrol (there are too many to post) we are taking them all togther after Christmas. We are also waiting to pick more up and are hoping by the time they get to Louise there will be about 300! This is fabulous and wonderful (huge thank you to Jenny who has helped Becksie with lots on this mission) but Becksie realises whilst she has been coordinating the process (talking to local WI groups who have been AMAZING, sourcing material and bias to give to people, collecting dress etc etc) she hasn’t actually sat and made a dress herself for quite a while. So today during nap time Becksie made this little dress. This fabric (and enough other bits to make 15 more dresses) was very kindly donated by an elderly lady who had heard about a project through a friend of a friend once again highlighting how this project is a real example of kindness and touches the hearts of many. If you fancy having a go at making a dress or want to find out more please click here.3 (2

Thank you to everyone who has helped Becksie reach her target – the dresses will very soon be off to their owners, WOW!

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5 thoughts on “3rd December

  1. What a very busy day! I particularly like your last comment about making the pastry a bit thicker, I would agree with this. My Gran then my Mum, then my Dad all baked brilliant mince pies and they all made beautiful soft short pastry with just the right amount of mincemeat in. I don’t like these deep filled things you can buy in all the “supermarkets” I like mine like yours homemade size and therefore not too sweet! When my parents came for Xmas Dad would always ask could they bring anything and our answer was always “mince pies”. The three stacking tins of my childhood would always arrive full up and maybe an extra tin or two. Usually about 6 dozen in all!! I know that’s rather a lot but like Ian we all love them! Just wish I’d inherited the gene for making them! Anyway enough from me again, and well done Becksie and Lizzie.
    PS Love the little dress, especially the colours.

  2. One of the Pewsey Vale WI’s is having a ‘Dress a girl’ session soon – is that your work? Well done on the mince pies too

  3. Thank you for some really helpful suggestions for activities to do with my grandaughter. I normally look after her 2 days a week but this month it is going to be quite a lot more. I shall be back regularly for more creative ideas – no pressure! My grandaughter is a bit older than Lizzie (almost 2 1/2) so we don’t tend to have a nap anymore. Weather permitting it will be a wreath tomorrow and maybe mince pies as well.

  4. well done that’s the best pastry I know of for mince pies but it easier to use a processor less sticky on the hands have you made a Christmas pud yet as I have a fool proof microwave non steaming recipe if you want it x

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