I Heart Mince Pies

It is one of the oldest and most beloved Christmas traditions in England. Santa eats his with a glass of port (instead of the usual cookie and milk he gets in the States). It does NOT involve meat. Buuut it used to! It's the mince pie.

And this year, I thought I'd combine two things I love but have never tried: making my own mince pies, and using a recipe from nigella's christmas cookbook. I made my very own mincemeat (again, completely vegan, I promise!) a few days ago and stored it in a big jar. Yesterday I tackled the pastry - and with the help of my new food processor it was a total success!

Heart-Topped Mince Pies

Recipe from nigella's christmas

This photo was taken by the glow of my laptop, mid-ichat conversation with my mom. Even though she lives 6,000 miles away from me, she was the first to see them!

I went along with this recipe to a tee, although I subbed dairy-free margarine for butter and used a heart-shaped cutter instead of a star. Just to start with, I made 12. Didn't want to overdo it in case they were a disaster (I'm not a master pastry chef... yet). But I'll be making more this week to bring to a mulled wine and mince pie party my friends are hosting on Sunday.

Lesson learned: When making your own pastry, it's important to have patience. OK so you have to be patient in pretty much all aspects of cooking, but especially here. Nigella's recipe insists you put the flour and butter/shortening in the freezer for 20 minutes before processing, and putting the dough in the fridge for 20 minutes before rolling out and forming into pies. It's these extra steps that create a flaky pastry, apparently, and I'm not going to argue with her.