Mince Pies

photo of mince pies

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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

  1. 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.
  2. Pulse the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs – it’s ok to have a few lumps.
  3. 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.
  4. 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)
  5. 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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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