Magic Mince Pies

This post is written and brought to you by Sainsbury's, Live Well For Less.

Nothing makes me feel more in the Christmas mood than a mince pie and a mug of Gluhwein. One of my favorite yearly rituals is to meet up with friends at the local Christmas market, for me that’s when Christmas starts properly.

After that first taste of Gluhwein out in the cold air I like to make my own at home and invite people round, once the Christmas tree has been decorated and the house is looking festive. You can of course make your own Gluhwein or mulled wine as we call it from scratch, buy it already bottled or buy a Gluhwein mix and make it yourself by mixing and brewing it with red wine.

Whatever you call it, it is very simple to make, you need 2 bottles of red wine, 4 oranges, 1 lemon, some cloves, cinnamon sticks and about 250g of caster sugar.

First of all grate the rind of the oranges and lemon and add to a pan. Add the cinnamon sticks and the juice from the lemon and the orange together and add to the pan. With the 3 oranges you have left, equally divide the cloves among them and place in the pan. Add the 2 bottles of red wine – it is important to heat the wine but you must not let it boil. Add the caster sugar and simmer until it dissolves.

Ideally make it just before guests are coming round so that you can keep it on a low heat and offer it warm. Alternatively you could keep some ready-made and just warm it up in the microwave.

The same principle works for mince pies, you can make your own, buy a mix and make them from that or buy some ready-made. I like to buy mine ready to eat but I try to buy them from the local bakers or independent shops as they have more of a home-made taste to them.

If I feel adventurous enough to make some this year I will probably buy a pastry mix as I’m not too great at getting quantities right when making pastry so that would save me a lot of stress. I would make the filling myself as that seems to be quite straight forward.

Of course, nothing beats proper home-made mince pies and there are plenty of amazing recipes online. If you are gifted in the kitchen why not be a domestic goddess this Christmas and give Nigella a run for her money?

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