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Para que practiques tus habilidades en la cocina y con el inglés, te traemos esta receta de «mince pies» unos dulces navideños del Reino Unido.

Welcome back to the Baker’s Dozen and to a special Christmas edition.

For this month’s post we shall be looking at mince pies. These are small sweet pies made with pastry and filled with a mixture of dried fruits and spices called mincemeat – so no actual meat to be seen.  They are thought to have originated in the 13th Century and in the original version they were filled with meat, fruit and spices but over the years only the fruit and spices have remained.

At Christmas time mince pies can be found in every household in the UK – this really is a tradition that everyone follows and to be honest Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without mince pies.  I find it strange that there are people who don’t even like them – unthinkable!

Now I can safely say that Father Christmas loves mince pies – well, he did when I was a child.  Before we went to bed on every Christmas Eve we would leave a mince pie and a glass of whisky out for Father Christmas with our stockings; we thought it a fair exchange to leave us presents for food and drink. No wonder his waistline was so large but why didn’t he get drunk with all those glasses of whisky? Well there was a simple answer to that question – my father drank it.

Generally we make the pies as near to Christmas Day as possible so that we can completely indulge over the Christmas period. There are a number of ways to make the whole process quicker, by using ready-made mincemeat which most people do these days or go the whole hog and buy the pies ready-made – but where’s the fun in that?

Mince Pies

560g Mincemeat

350g Flour

75g Lard

75g Butter

Pinch of salt

Cold water

Method

  1. You need to heat the oven to 200º and then start making the pastry.
  2. Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl
  3. Add the fats and rub them into flour until it resembles fine crumbs.
  4. Add enough cold water to mix a dough that leaves the bowl clean.
  5. Leave the pastry to rest in a polythene bag in the fridge for 20 – 30 minutes.  I cannot stress enough that it is best to leave the pastry to rest.  My children have a wide vocabulary of expletives which have all resulted from me trying to roll pastry that hadn’t been left to rest.  The pastry will break up if you try to roll it too soon.
  6. Take half of the dough and using a rolling pin, roll out the pastry as thinly as possible and using fluted cutters, cut it into two dozen 7.5cm rounds, gathering up the scraps and re-rolling when necessary.
  7. Do the same with the other half of the pastry but this time use a 6cm cutter.
  8. Grease lightly your mince pie trays and line them with the larger rounds of pastry.
  9. Fill each one with mincemeat until it is level with the edge of the pastry.
  10. Dampen the edge of the smaller rounds with water and then place them on top of the filled case so that the damp edge sticks to the pastry bottom.
  11. Brush the top of each with a little milk and make a little cut in the top of the pastry lid, this allows the steam to escape and stop your pie from exploding.
  12. Bake in the top of the oven for about 25 – 30 minutes.
  13. Allow to cool on a wire tray and then sprinkle with icing sugar.  Enjoy with a cup of tea and store any left in an airtight container.

Vocabulary

Mincemeat: a fruit filling made with apples, mixed spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, candied peel, sultanas, raisins, currants, brown sugar, orange, lemon, suet and brandy.

Go the whole hog: a phrase that means to do something as completely as possible

To sift:  the action of putting flour through a sieve (a wire net shaped like a bowl) to get rid of lumps etc.

Fats: a generic word to describe butter, lard etc.

To resemble: to look like something or someone

Expletives: words that can be considered as being offensive

Rolling pin: a tube shaped object that is used for making pastry flat and thin

Roll out: the action of using the rolling pin

Scraps: small parts of pastry that are left and that cannot be used in their own right but when added with all the other scraps can be used again.

Candied Peel: small pieces of lemon and orange peel that have been dried and crystallised.

Suet: this is the solid fat that encloses beef kidneys.