Nothing says ‘Christmas’ more than the warming scent of mince pies baking in the oven. What could be more festive! We have included our recipes for both the mincemeat and the pastries below.
The pastry uses a sweet, rich shortcrust. Makes about 50 mini mince pies.
- 450g/1 lb raisins
- 450g/1 lb currants
- 225g/½ lb candied peel
- 225g/½ lb finely chopped vegetable fat eg 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
- Mix all the ingredients together well.
- Pack into jars that have been well washed, rinsed and dried in an oven.
- Seal well.
- Mincemeat needs a few weeks to mature and can be kept for ages.
- Fill into short pastry cases or make puff pastry puffs.
- 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
- Place the flour, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl.
- Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Add 4 egg yolks and work together thoroughly to form a smooth dough. If the mixture seems to dry to come together, add another yolk. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and press out small balls of pastry into mince pie tins, keeping the pastry as thin as possible.
- 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.
- Drop a spoonful of mincemeat into each pastry base but do not overfill.
- 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.
- Alternatively, simply pop a shaped piece over pastry over the mince pie, e.g. a star.
- Chill again for at least 30 minutes before baking
- Preheat your oven to 400ºC / 200ºF.
- Bake the pies in the hot oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.
- Sift a little icing sugar over the top of the pies before serving.
Mince pies are delicious served with brandy butter.