Mince pies are a delectable British treat consisting of candied fruit, spices and a few drops of alcohol, such as brandy or rum. If you are baking your very own mince pies, how can you prevent the mince pies from crumbling?
Mix in the Dry Ingredients First
One of the secrets to a good mince pie is a strong short crust pastry that holds the mincemeat together without falling apart during or after the cooking process. The basic dry ingredients include flour and sugar, followed by cubed butter, egg and a little water, to help bind the pastry together.
Start by mixing the dry ingredients and the butter together before adding any liquid to the pastry mixture. Allow enough time for the pastry to sit before attempting to assemble each mince pie.
Recommended Reading: Get started with baking by reading our Ultimate Guide to the Best Baking Equipment for Beginners!
Grease the Tins
Make sure you properly grease the mince pie tins before you add the mince pies. Doing so will make it easier to remove the mince pies once they are cooked, but without leaving behind half the pie mixture. If you are watching your weight, use fat-free cooking spray rather than butter to grease the tins.
Bake Until the Pastry is Completely Browned
Follow a good mince pie recipe, including the recommended cooking time. Sometimes the cooking time will need to be adjusted so that the short crust pastry is completely browned and cooked through. You should not take the mince pies out of the oven until they are completely cooked; otherwise the mixture will cave in on itself and crumble.
Completely Cool the Mince Pies
A common mistake that leads to mince pies crumbling is not allowing them to cool completely before transferring them. The best way to avoid a mess of crumbled mince pies is to leave the mince pies in the baking tins for a few minutes to cool slightly before transferring them to a wire cooling rack.
Provided you have followed all the correct procedures, the mince pies should come out easily. A simple trick is to turn the mince pies out directly onto the wire cooling rack so that you do not even have to touch the sides of the mince pies, and risk the pies falling apart.
Homemade mince pies are a tasty treat that the whole family can enjoy, hot or cold. But if you are making your very own mince pies, you will want to ensure that the mince pies do not crumble. Be careful during the preparation and assembly process and bake the mince pies until they are completely browned. Cool the mince pies completely and keep handling to a bare minimum so that the mince pies do not crumble.
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