After a year of waiting patiently for my favourite month, thank goodness that December is finally here! The final month in our calendar year, and even early in the shops, revolves solely around Christmas. When my diary flips over to the 1st of December, I am allowed to express my Christmas joy that I have had to store inside me for an entire 11 months. In order to get into the jolly spirit that this time of year brings, I love to place small Christmas themed decorations around the house and my room.
As well as decorations, December is the month for overeating and putting on a few extra kilos. Fruit mince pies are a perfect treat to have around Christmas, either on a lazy afternoon with a tea or spread out to share with friends during Christmas drinks. When these little gems are cooking in your oven, their spicy scent fills the house, creating an almost instant merry feeling. The recipe that I follow is one that I have used for many years and is a favourite amongst my family and friends, so I thought I would share it with you.
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 cup plain flour
1 cup self raising flour
410g jar fruit mince
icing sugar for dusting
Cream butter and sugar. Then add the egg and beat well.
Fold both flours into the mixture and lightly kneed pastry.
Wrap the pastry in a plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/356°F. Grease a 12-hole tartlet pan.
Roll out pastry between baking paper. Cut out 12 circles and place into tartlet pan.
Spoon a generous teaspoon of fruit mince filling into each shell.
Roll the remaining pastry out and cut small hearts, or shapes of your choice. Place the decorative shapes in the centre of the fruit mixture.
Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until cooked. Cool in the pan and then remove to completely cool.
Dust with sifted icing sugar to serve. (Makes 24)