Christmas mince pies

  • Time 20-25 minutes
  • Yield Makes 24

Ingredients

    300g (2 cups) plain flour
    1/4 tsp baking powder
    6 1/2 oz 185g unsalted butter, chopped
    55g (1/4 cup) sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
    2 egg yolks
    1-2 tbsp lemon juice
    1 egg white, whisked

    for the cranberry studded mince- makes about 600ml / 2½ cups

    2 oz - 60 ml brandy, rum or ruby port
    2 1/2 oz - 75 grams soft dark brown sugar
    11 oz - 300 grams cranberries, chopped
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 teaspoon ground ginger
    ½ teaspoon ground cloves
    3 oz - 75 grams currants
    3 oz - 75 grams raisins
    1 oz -30 grams dried cranberries
    finely grated zest and juice of 1 clementine
    2 tbsp brandy
    3 drops almond extract
    ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 tablespoons honey

Preparation

    Preheat oven to 375 F - 190°C .
    Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl. Rub in butter using fingertips until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar. Add egg yolks and enough lemon juice to bring ingredients together to form a dough.
    Knead dough gently on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Halve, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes. Roll out one pastry half between 2 sheets of baking paper until 1/4 inch or less, 3-5mm thick. Using a 2 1/2 inch (6.5cm) fluted round cutter, cut out 12 rounds, reserving leftover pastry. Place rounds into one of the prepared pans. Spoon 2 teaspoons of fruit mince into each. Repeat with second pastry half and fruit mince.
    Re-roll scraps of pastry and cut into small stars. Top each pie with a star. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with extra sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden. Leave to cool completely in pans. Serve warm or at room temperature.

    Make the mince fruit in advance.
    In a large pan, dissolve the sugar in the brandy, rum or ruby port over a gentle heat. Add the chopped cranberries and stir. Add the cinnamon, ginger and cloves, currants, raisins, dried cranberries and the zest and juice of the clementine. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 20 minutes, or until the fruit has broken down and has absorbed most of the liquid in the pan.
    Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little. Add the brandy, almond extract, vanilla extract and honey and stir well with a wooden spoon to mash the mixture down into a paste.
Notes
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