I always used to make mince pies with my Nan. I used to watch her make the pastry by hand, endlessly folding the pastry into thirds and dotting each third with a mix of butter and shortening. She would roll the pastry out neither too thick nor thin and it would be my job to use a fluted cutter to stamp out the rounds.
My most vivid memories of baking tend to revolve around my Nan. She’s a good teacher, and if I'm honest, the most influential figure in my love of baking. As soon as I could hold a wooden spoon in my hand and stir ingredients in her huge baking jug, I was scooped up on to the counter and my baking days began.