the week before i leave singapore is always the busiest – spending time with family, catching up with friends, eating my way through my favorite spots or trying out new places, loading up my luggage with treats (pineapple tarts! tau sar piah! m&s biscuits! australian milo!) and baking some with my mom. the past few days we were preoccupied with baking fruitcake and minced pies, and it’s always a great lesson for me as she’s been going at the whole cooking/baking thing for over 30 years now and dispenses all kinds of tips a noob like me gratefully laps up. although her experience means that whenever she watches me help her out, sometimes i get nervous/feel silly/all too aware that i’m moving too slowly and imprecisely for her liking.
these minced pies, however, turned out lovely. except for the fact that the star-shaped cutter was a bit too big for the pie and the edges broke off, the pastry was right on the money (really wish i had her instinct to suss out all these technical details) and the mixture of fruits she used (including rum-soaked organic raisins and medjool dates), had a delightful sweetness. finish off with masterful controlling the heat on the oven and there you go, buttery and crumbly minced pies that will see me through some late night snacking in LA.