CHRISTMAS RECIPE: Mince Pies – back by popular demand!

You know it’s officially Christmas when you can smell the sweet smell of pastry firming in the oven and can see the mincemeat bubbling away underneath the star shaped lids. Here’s our recipe that makes about 50 mini mince pies using a sweet, rich shortcrust pastry.

MINCEMEAT

INGREDIENTS

  • 450g/1 lb raisins
  • 450g/1 lb currants
  • 225g/½ lb candied peel
  • 225g/½ lb finely chopped vegetable fat e.g coconut
  • 450g/1 lb finely grated cooking apples
  • 450g/1 lb sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1½ teaspoons allspice
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 250ml/8ozs brandy or rum

 

METHOD

  1. 1. Mix all the ingredients together well.
  2. 2. Pack into jars that have been well washed, rinsed and dried in an oven.
  3. 3. Seal well.
  4. 4. Mincemeat needs a few weeks to mature and can be kept for ages

 

PASTRY

INGREDIENTS

  • 450g / 1 lb plain flour
  • 85g / 3 oz caster sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 250g / 9 oz unsalted butter
  • 4 or 5 egg yolks
  • mincemeat: use as much as required

 

METHOD

  1. 1. Place the flour, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl.
  2. 2. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. 3. Add 4 egg yolks and work together thoroughly to form a smooth dough. If the mixture seems too dry to come together, add another yolk. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  4. 4. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and press out small balls of pastry into mince pie tins, keeping the pastry as thin as possible.
  5. 5. Using an appropriate-sized cutter, cut out tops to fit the pies. These can be small and decorative, or larger to cover the entire top of each mince pie.
  6. 6. Drop a spoonful of mincemeat into each pastry base but do not overfill.
  7. 7. Place a pastry lid on each pie. These can be forked in place if they cover the entire mince pie top. Prick gently to release steam when baking.
  8. 8. Alternatively, simply pop a shaped piece over pastry over the mince pie, e.g. a star.
  9. 9. Chill again for at least 30 minutes before baking
  10. 10. Preheat your oven to 200ºC / 400ºF.
  11. 11. Bake the pies in the hot oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  12. 12. Sift a little icing sugar over the top of the pies before serving.

 

Mince pies are delicious served with brandy butter.

 

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