As Christmas rapidly approaches, I thought I would give you my recipe for mince pies. Traditionally the pastry contains lard, and the mincemeat suet. These I have substituted for butter. And I have made the pastry somewhat richer than the traditional half fat to flour.
The recipe calls for candied peel, which you can buy. But I think it is much nicer homemade, for which I give a recipe at the end. You also need about three teaspoons of mixed spice, for which I also give a recipe.
The resulting pies are sharp, juicy and irresistible!
300g plain flour
230g chilled unsalted butter
Enough for 48 little pies
- Sift the flour into a processor.
- Cut the butter into small cubes and add to the flour.
- Whizz the mixture up until the texture of breadcrumbs.
- Add the chilled water until the pastry has the correct consistency. You will probably need 4-6 tablespoons.
- Allow to rest for 30 minutes.
- Roll out the pastry, and cut disks to fit your pastry tin. Cut slightly smaller disks for the top.
Enough for 72 little pies
225g apples (sharp, such as granny smiths)
115g dried cranberries
115g candied peel
175g soft dark brown sugar
Grated rind and the juice of a large orange
Grated rind and the juice of a lemon
25g chopped almonds
3tsp mixed spice
115g unsalted butter
- Peel, core and chop the apples finely.
- Chop the candied peel finely.
- Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.
- Cover, and leave for 24 hours.
- Grease the pastry tins.
- Line with the larger disks of pastry.
- Spoon in the mincemeat, so it is about level with the top of the pastry.
- Cover with the smaller disks of pastry.
- Brush each with milk.
- Bake in the oven at 200°C for 15-20 minutes.
- Allow to cool and dust with icing sugar.
150g peel from mixed citrus fruit, including orange, grapefruit, lemon, lime, mandarins.
Place in a heavy saucepan, cover with caster sugar, and add a tablespoon of water.
Bring to the boil, and simmer for about 10 minutes
Allow to cool slightly, then remove the peel and spread out on a chopping board and allow to cool completely.
2cm stick cinnamon
½ tsp fennel seeds
½ tsp coriander seeds
4 allspice berries
4 green cardamoms
Heat the above spices gently in a heavy pan until they release their aroma and are slightly browned.
Grind in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar.
Store in an airtight jar.