Mince pie bakeoff

15th December
Five very different mince pies

Those of you that have followed the blog
for a while will know that I a) love Christmas b) cannot make mince pies and c) enjoy keeping both old traditions alive and creating new traditions.  This year we have begun a new tradition and already everyone in our household is excited about it.

We have begun the yearly mince pie bake off!!!!

This week end we were 5, mamma is here from Norway and so on Sunday morning, we all looked for our recipes and made our lists, bought our ingredients and fought for space in the kitchen.  It was such fun.

The rules were, there were no rules, except we were not allowed to help each other or be helped. But the rules would allow for someone to actually have bought shop mince pies, but no one was prepared this year to do that, I wonder what future years will bring...

First off the mark and into the kitchen was our youngest, he went off piste and added cinnamon and orange zest to his pastry, he was competitive and said how much he loved the challenge.  This was the first time he had ever made pastry, he is 13.

Mince pies with cinnamon and orange zest pastry


Next up was mamma, whose recipe stated not to use cookie cutters and to roll her pastry out and slice them, then shape them into the tins, I thought this looked messy and was not convinced, however, they actually came out really rather well and were the most 'Mr Kipling' like of all five mince pie varieties!  This was mamma's first time at making mince pies too.

Slicing the dough for mince pies


Mamma's first ever mince pies

Mr H and our eldest baked at the same time and were in each others way, more on purpose than out of necessity I feel.  Both used good food recipes found on line, but very different versions.  Our daughter used shop bought mince meat (as did we all, only thinking to start the bake off some few hours before we began, who knows if someone makes their own another year!?!?)  but she added chopped apple, segmented Satsuma and lemon zest to give it her personal spin.  However, as there were no rules to this bake off and the fact that she is studying for mock exams, she bought her pastry!!!  Ummm.... and  Mr H insisted on having luxury bought mince meat, no one else was that flash.

Making shop bought mince meat more personal by adding lemon zest,
Satsuma's and chopped apple

Stiff competition for the mince pie bake off

The man himself who had the idea for the mince pie bake off

I knew from bitter experience that I am no good at making mince pies and therefore felt that I would come last in the bake off, so I could afford to be adventurous and I too went off piste and followed Jo Wheatley eccles based mince pies, they do not look like mince pies at all!  I had a bit of trouble half way through the recipe, so had to wing it a bit, but they looked ok.

My unusual take on mince pies!


The house smelt amazing all afternoon and we were all transported on Christmas mode, even those who do not usually feel the spirit until Christmas Eve.  It was such a great family thing to do together.  Stiff competition never hurt a family, did it?!?!!?


All five mince pie varieties


We took the testing and tasting seriously, everyone having to produce 6 mince pies to the testing table and they were marked for taste and appearance.  The person who made the mince pies could not judge their own.  It was incredible the variety of taste and texture and we all agreed we did not like the mincemeat that contained the brandy but that we all loved the version which had added fruit to it.  Think next year several of us may now make our own mince meat for the bake off!  The shop bought pastry was ok actually and one persons pastry was a bit too thick and hard.  The pastry with cinnamon, was a tad too subtle and could have had more but we all liked the take of changing the pastry.  Mine were liked except the mince meat that I used was also changed by adding a sweet paste to it as per the recipe and we really found that far too sweet.    There was no overall winner as two of the mince pies scored the same score, those of our eldest daughter and mine.  But it has fired us all up for fighting for the winning bake off title next year...  loving this new tradition.

 
 
 
 
 
The youngest contestant, perhaps some
presentation skills are needed, but the pastry was great

Thought these looked good, but the pastry was a bit hard

Shop bought pastry, but the best mince meat

Luxury mincemeat, but we didn't rate that, good pastry

Voted best pastry but did not like the sweet mince meat

 
♥  Happy Monday everyone! 


18 comments:

  1. What a fun idea! It is surprising how you all came up with such different results for exactly the same thing isn't it! xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I couldn't agree more Amy. We were so surprised ourselves at how different they are.

      Delete
  2. Love this idea! Just the right mix of family competitiveness, fun, and food! They all look delicious to be honest! X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so right it was fun, we all LOVE food and it definitely was competitive. X

      Delete
  3. How fun! I love this new tradition, I fear you will need to be well prepared for next year.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree! I love this new tradition too. Such fun. This is a keeper of a tradition x

      Delete
  4. I've never made mince pies and I think I've tasted them a few times in my past. Yours look perfect and I bet they are delicious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Karen and welcome here to the eclectic blog. They were great fun to make and all tasted surprisingly different. More so than I would have thought. But they do taste good. Can you buy mince pies in the USA?

      Delete
  5. This makes me want some mince pies!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Such a neat tradition, looks like it was a lot of creative fun! Happy holidays!

    Lauren / And Together We

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was my husbands idea. Chrustmas is not really his thing but every now and again he is genius. We loved this. Happy holidays to you too x

      Delete
  7. Replies
    1. I have but it has been such fun. This is my favourite time of year x

      Delete
  8. Hi Selma! How great! I sense great family joy here! I wish I could smell the baking pies! I'm so happy to "meet" you. I am half Norwegian. Tell your sweet mama (smile).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very very happy to "meet you" too. It truly was a happy family time

      Delete
  9. What a great idea! I still have a jar of bought mincemeat and now I think I will add some apple and orange and see what happens . . . thanks for the idea for a fun family tradition, too. ~ Linne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are welcome. Don't forget to add the lemon zest too! So happy you are going to try. Let me know what yu think if it. Warm regards to you.

      Delete

I will always read all comments and will try to reply but it may take me a couple of days, do please pop back and lets get a conversation going...