Saturday, 8 December 2012

Christmas Mince Pies

Christmas Mince Pies
This crumbly, fruity mince pie recipe is a Christmas classic. Serve warm with lashings of brandy butter

Makes 12 (but enough mincemeat for many, many more)
Prep time:  2 hours (including chilling time)
Cooking time:  20 minutes

200g raisins
200g sultanas
1 Bramley apple, peeled & chopped
100g mixed peel
75g glace cherries
75g stem ginger in syrup, drained & chopped
1 lemon, zest & juice only
200g suet
200g dark brown muscovado sugar
200g currants
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp grated nutmeg
2 tsp mixed spice
½ tsp ground ginger
100ml brandy
100ml sherry

For the pastry
200g plain flour, sifted
40g golden caster sugar
75g ground almonds
125g unsalted butter, cubed
1 large free-range egg, beaten
Milk to glaze

Preparation method

1.  Place the raisins, sultanas, apple, mixed fruit, mixed peel and lemon zest into a blender a blitz to a paste.  Place in a bowl and add the suet, sugar, currants, cinnamon, nutmeg, mixed spice, ground ginger, brandy and sherry.  Mix together well and set aside.  This mincemeat can be stored in a dark, cool cupboard for up to a year.

2.  For the pastry, place the flour, sugar, almonds and butter into a food processor.  Blend until it resembles breadcrumbs and slowly add the egg.

3.  Bring the mixture together with your hands, wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for an hour or so.

4.  Lightly butter a 12-hole pie or patty tin.

5.  Thinly roll out the pastry onto a floured surface.  Cut out 12 circles with a fluted pastry cutter, large enough to fill the base of the prepared tin. Press gently into each hole, then fill with the mincemeat.

6.  Cut out another 12 slightly smaller discs and use to cover the mincemeat. Press the edges together to seal. Make a small slit in the top of each, then brush lightly with milk. Chill for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6.

7.  Bake the pies for 20 minutes until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack and serve warm with brandy butter.

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