I made some Fruit Mince pies on Sunday. A little tradition I do every year, using the recipe from my mother, who got the recipe from her great-aunt who used to get up at 4 am to make mince pies so that her hands would be cold enough to handle the dough.
I was quite gratified to see that my recipe for short crust pastry is almost identical to Mrs Beeton's with only a few minor adjustments. In the place of lard I use butter, and instead of all plain flour and baking powder I use half and half of Self Raising Flour and plain flour.
However, my method differs vastly from Mrs Beeton's, considering I use an electric food processor to mix the dough.
2 oz of butter
2 oz of lard
1 yolk of egg
1 teaspoonful of baking powder
A good pinch of salt
About 1/8 of a pint of water
METHOD - Rub the butter and lard lightly into the flour, add the baking powder, salt, yolk of egg, and sufficient water to form a stiff paste. Roll out to the required thickness and use at once.
TIME - About 1/4 of an hour. SUFFICIENT for about 1 medium-sized tart
Mrs Beeton's recipe for rich short-crust has 1 level dessertspoonful of sugar - but 6 oz of butter, hence I compared my recipe with the normal short-crust)
4 oz (125g) of plain flour
4 oz (125g) of SR flour
4 oz (125g) of butter
2 oz (60g) of castor sugar
1 pinch of salt
About 3 tablespoons of water
Method: Put butter, flour, salt and sugar in a food processor. Turn on and process until it resembles bread crumbs, add egg yolk, and process, add water a little at a time until the mixture forms a ball of dough whirling round the mixer. Remove and roll out on a floured board/benchtop. The use or refridgerate until required (no more that 1 day)
Roll out, cut into tops (5cm circle cutter) and bottoms (round egg ring), put into a tart pan which has been brushed with melted copha (it makes the pastry crispier that using butter) and fill with fruit mince.
Bake for about 25 to 30 mins in a moderate oven (180 oC)
ABSOLUTELY can only be made if Christmas carols are blaring from the stereo, music box, or piano...