Economical way to have mince pies in Asia

We have a sweet-toothed big kid at home, so mince pie is a must have on the traditional Christmas pudding list for the whole of December. But buying imported mince pies in South East Asia is not an easy thing to do - each box of 6 will cost at least RM22.00 (close to £4) and they are only so-so in taste. And don't even get me started on the excessive packaging and carbon footprint on air freighted goods.

Last year, we spent quite a bit on buying mince pies alone; but with all that credit crunch this year, I decided to try and bake our own. Since I've saved most of the foil cups from last year's shop-bought mince pies (some damaged ones have been flattened to making 2-D baubles for our Christmas tree), they are now just in time for this money saving mission of ours.

Here is how much we've spent:
1. 2 jars of mincemeat - RM20.00
2. 1 bag of 1 kg plain flour (only used half) - RM3.00
3. Butter - RM5.00
4. Reused foil cups - RM0.00
5. Using old wine bottle as rolling pin (we don't already have one as I don't often bake) - RM0.00
6. Using 2 different-sized glasses as pastry cutters (we don't have those either) - RM0.00

So far we've made 2 batches, a total of about 20+ mince pies, and we still have some dough and mincemeat in the fridge for more.

Yes we did have to buy some mincemeat in jars, but there is minimal packaging, and we can reused and recycled the jars. The aim now is to master the shortcrust pastry, next will be to learn how to make my own mincemeat. Hopefully by next year we can do even more for the environment whilst saving more money.


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