My fruit mince pies are the best! They scream Christmas and all have requested a second helping. Serve with a dollop of stiff cream with some Grand Marnier beaten into it. The recipe for the filling is my own, but I use Edd Kimber’s recipe for sweet pastry as it is outstanding.
- Pastry – 275g plain flour
- 25g ground almonds
- 50g icing sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- seeds from 1/2 vanilla pod
- 175g unsalted butter
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon iced water
- Pulse the flour, almonds, icing sugar and salt together in a food processor to combine. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod and add to the mixture.
- Pulse the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs – it’s ok to have a few lumps.
- Mix the egg yolk and iced water and add to the mixture, pulsing until the dough just starts to come together. Add a little more water if the dough is not coming together.
- Knead the dough lightly until uniform. Shape into 2 discs and wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes. While dough is chilling, make the filling. (See below)
- When dough is chilled, roll out to approximately 3mm and cut rounds to fit into 12 hole patty pan. Also cut out stars with a star-shaped cookie cutter to place on top of the pies. Blind bake the pastry cases at 180˚C for approximately 10 minutes or until golden brown.
- Filling – red apple
- knob of butter, unsalted
- lemon, juice only
- handful sultanas,
- handful currants
- handful dried cranberries
- handful dried apricots, chopped
- big splash of port
- small splash Grand Mariner
- cinnamon, to taste
- ground cloves, to taste
- ground nutmeg, to taste
- ground cardamon, to taste
- 4 star anise
- Start by finely slicing a red apple and putting it in a fry pan with some butter and the juice of a lemon. Wait until the apple becomes nice and soft before adding the other ingredients.
- At your leisure, add a fat handful of each: sultanas, currants, dried cranberries and chopped dried apricots. Splash in a good dose of port and a bit of Grand Marnier for good measure.
- Now this is where you need to rely on your tastebuds, as I have no exact amounts for you. Shake in some cinnamon, ground cloves, ground nutmeg, ground cardamon and about four star anise. I like things spicy. Bland food has no business in my kitchen.
- Let the fruit soften and keep stirring the mixture around over a medium heat. When you feel it is the right texture (maybe after about 5 minutes) turn the heat off.
- When cooled a little, blitz in the food processor and spoon the mince into your blind-baked pastry shells. Place pastry star on top and cook for about 10 minutes (180˚C), or until golden brown.
Serve warm or cold. Both are delicious.