Bake a batch of delightfully festive (and super simple!) mince pies, bursting with spices and candied fruit - a favourite of super-sleuths Hazel and Daisy in their new mystery, Mistletoe and Murder.
You will need:
• 225g cold butter, diced
• 350g plain flour
• 100g golden caster sugar
• 280g mincemeat
• 1 small egg
How to make them:
1. To make the pastry, rub 225g cold, diced butter into 350g plain flour, then mix in 100g golden caster sugar and a pinch of salt. Combine the pastry into a ball – don’t add liquid – and knead it briefly. The dough will be fairly firm. You can use the dough immediately, or chill for later
2. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6/fan 180C. Line 18 holes of two 12-hole patty tins, by pressing small walnut-sized balls of pastry into each hole. Spoon 280g mincemeat into the pies
3. Take slightly smaller balls of pastry than before and pat them out between your hands to make round lids, big enough to cover the pies. Top the pies with their lids, pressing the edges gently together to seal – you don’t need to seal them with milk or egg as they will stick on their own
4. Beat 1 small egg and brush the tops of the pies. Bake for 20 minutes until golden. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then move to a wire rack for as long as you can resist before tucking in
I bit into my first mince pie and my mouth flooded with spices and candied fruit. For a while, everything was quiet.
The fabulously festive fifth mystery from the bestselling, award-winning author of Murder Most Unladylike.
Nancy Drew meets the Chalet School in this clever crime novel set in the 1930s. Robin Stevens' period detail, strong characters and meticulous plotting come together in a satisfying story (Scotsman)
Festive, fun and full of mystery (Country Life)
It's Christmas, the snow is falling in Cambridge where the detective duo Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are spending the festive period.
But Hazel's hopes of relaxing amongst the beautiful spires, cosy libraries and inviting tea-rooms are dashed by the danger lurking in the dark stairwells of Maudlin College.
Two days before Christmas, there is a terrible accident.
At least, it appears to be an accident - until the Detective Society look a little closer, and realise a murder has taken place.
Faced with several irritating grown-ups and fierce competition from a rival agency, they must use all their cunning and courage to find the killer (in time for Christmas Day, of course).
A superb puzzle . . . Splendidly seasonal (Metro)
Fabulous (The Times)