With Christmas Eve one fortnight away, I have started packing for my next holiday to spend Christmas and New Year’s Eve somewhere in Africa. So to say that my Christmas cooking plans are put on hold is a understatement. I have huge plans for baking, blogging, card writing and shopping for this festival, I always do especially since I have shifted to London in 2008. Couple months ago, when I shared a photo of the food cooked on Eid, one of the girls from my friend list who used to be in my dance class kind of reassured herself in a private message stating, ‘’I didn’t know you are a Muslim! Are you?’’ Those who are regular on this blog probably know that I try to celebrate and take part in all religious festivals because for me they are nothing but an opportunity to meet your family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, enjoy a great meal together and most importantly getting to wear new outfits and receiving presents yayyyy! If you still care to know my reply to her, I responded with this- ‘’ I’m human. I do not need to be Muslim to enjoy a delicious home-cooked Biryani, in the same manner, I don’t need to be a Hindu to burn few crackers and eat sweets on Diwali or for that matter, bake some Star-shaped mince pies on Christmas and oh yes! shop online, wrap them up with care thinking it’s my present to me and keep them under the tree until Christmas morning;) It doesn’t end there, my beautographer and I will then have a photo-session of gifts unwrapping ceremony;) We enjoy life, in every form- if that means celebrating a festival of a particular faith I wasn’t growing up practicing. So, here I’m baking these gorgeous mince pies for you all, well in advance (as I’ll be traveling during Christmas this year). If you are like me you are either out of time or just want really tasty and quick mince pies then this a post you might enjoy. Make these rather special star mince pies on Christmas eve, these are perfect for entertainment and are ready in a jiffy. The job will be even quicker if you buy sheets of ready rolled puff pastry (which I did), I’ve made plenty of batches of these this year, you can even put them in a nice paper box and make it a nice homemade gift for your parents or siblings only if you are visiting them for Christmas……Enjoy!

Christmas Baking: Tanusree's Star Mince Pies

This is an alternative to the traditional mince pie, lovely!

Christmas Baking: Tanusree's Star Mince Pies

Let’s bake now!

Makes 9

Ingredients
500g Puff pastry pack (all butter puff pastry if possible)
9 tbsp Mincemeat
1tbsp Port
Vanilla extract
Orange zest
Icing sugar
Beaten egg
2tbsp Maple syrup (warmed)

How I baked

Step One: Preheat the oven to 200ºC/ 400ºF/Gas Mark 6, line two large baking sheets with baking paper. Roll the the puff pastry out on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar or flour into a large square.

Dust your baking sttaion with some flour in order to avoid sticking to the work surface

Christmas Baking: Tanusree's Star Mince Pies

Christmas Baking: Tanusree's Star Mince Pies

Step Two: Cut into 10cm squares, using a sharp knife (I used a pizza cutter) cut about 3cm into each corner. Meanwhile mix the mincemeat with the port, two drops of vanilla extract and a pinch of orange zest. Drop a tablespoon of the mincemeat mixture in the centre of each puff pastry square.

Christmas Baking: Tanusree's Star Mince Pies IMG_0246 Christmas Baking: Tanusree's Star Mince Pies

Step Three: Brush the pastry with beaten egg then fold one corner into the centre, allowing for a slight overlap. Repeat with the other corners to make a windmill shape.

Christmas Baking: Tanusree's Star Mince Pies IMG_0251 Christmas Baking: Tanusree's Star Mince Pies

Step Four: Add a pastry star on the top (use some of the egg to stick the star into place).

Christmas Baking: Tanusree's Star Mince Pies

Step Five: Dust liberally with icing sugar and bake until they are golden and firm (about 12-15 minutes) where they have puffed up on the sides. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Brush with maple syrup, sprinkle with icing sugar.

Christmas Baking: Tanusree's Star Mince Pies

Enjoy and remember me on Christmas day;)

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