The mince pie competition

Published December 24, 2009

After the success of the chocolate covered pretzels, my mother and I decided that baking mince pies would be the next challenge. It is Christmas, after all.

After a bit of a delay as we tried to locate some mincemeat (silly supermarket two for one offers resulting in empty shelves), and we were ready to go.

Making mince pies

Now, I cook and I bake and I enjoy it, but I’m not so good at the bit where you have to dive right in and get your hands dirty.

Still, it all went pretty well, and I found myself with a ball of pastry. The idea of the “competition” was that my mother and I would make separate batches and my dad would judge the two. I didn’t think we were being all that competitive, until mum tried to sabotage my pies by throwing the scales around. My pastry survived, though.

Making mince pies

I rolled it all out - rolling pins are fun, aren’t they? - and then cut out the various sections and started putting the mincemeat in.

Making mince pies

We thought about it for a moment, and decided to differentiate between the two batches of pies by varying the style of implement used to “stick a fork in them”. One was a fork, obviously, and one was a knife. I might have attacked mine with a knife a bit forcefully, but they seem okay in this picture.

Making mince pies

Once complete, they were stuffed in the oven, where we alternated the shelves to try and make it as fair as possible. We brought them out, and voilà:

Making mince pies

Spot the deliberate mistake.

My dad tasted both and said they were exactly the same. Which makes sense, because we used all the same ingredients, cooked them in the same oven for the same amount of time, and varied very little. That’s good though. We all sat down and had mince pies to eat. Everyone’s a winner.

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