Perhaps I am quite a way away from really being able to claim that title, but I certainly feel like one today!
My project for my day off was to bake some mince pies. I used a recipe that I found on the BBC Good Food website (Click me for the recipe) which is a site that I have used in the past when looking for inspiration for dinner.
I like to cook, and I do it fairly well. I can make bread (without a bread machine) and have always had lovely responses from it, especially when it comes to the infamous apricot and ginger bread. That recipe was concocted with my friend Sonne, and a vast amount of gin. Drunken baking can work!
I am feeling more than a little smug, and really rather accomplished (despite the recipe being ‘kid friendly’ – Hey, I didn’t want to start trying to run before I could walk!). I was worried that a) I wouldn’t have enough pastry when it came to it and b) the pastry was going to be too short and crumble. Add to this, the worries of the pies sticking to the tin and breaking into a million pieces when I tried to get them out it is safe to say that I was more than a little nervous about this task!
I needn’t have been.
I gently rubbed some beaten egg into the pastry before putting them into the oven and that helped me feel a bit better about the shortness of the pastry as it sealed the small cracks that had started to develop. I made sure that I lightly greased my bun tin, even though it was non-stick. Then I put them in the oven, crossed my fingers and hoped for the best!
The recipe suggested baking for 20 minutes. I found they were a little soft on top after that time so I left them in for an extra four or five mintues, just to be on the safe side.
I took them out and left them to cool in the tin for five minutes or so before attempting to move them to the cooling rack. After resting on the rack for a while, I dusted them with some Royal Icing Sugar et voilá!
No disaster, no crumbling, no fuss!
Hopefully they will taste ok…but that is a test for tomorrow when David gets home. Perhaps I should have one, just to make sure they’re not horrible. That is a dangerous game though! He might come home to a slightly podgier girlfriend and no mince pies at all.