Mince pies

Get into the festive spirit with Caroline Waldegrave's more-ish recipe for mince pies, made with home-made mincemeat
Mince pies
  • Rating:
  • Serves: Makes 20
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

Main

  • 55 g butter, melted
  • 1 small cooking apple, cored
  • 85 g sultanas
  • 85 g raisins
  • 85 g currants
  • 45 g mixed peel, chopped
  • 45 g almonds, chopped
  • grated rind of 1 large lemons
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tbsp brandy
  • 85 g brown sugar
  • 1 banana, chopped

For the rich shortcrust pastry:

  • 340 g plain flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • 200 g butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 tbsp cold water, to mix
  • milk or beaten eggs, to glaze
  • icing sugar, to serve

Method

1. First make the pastry. Sift the flour into a large bowl, Rub in the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

2. Mix the egg yolks with the water and add to the flour mixture. Mix to a firm dough, at first with a knife and finally with one hand. It may be necessary to add more water, but the pastry should not be too damp.

3. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, make the mincemeat. First, grate the apple, skin and all

5. In a large mixing bowl mix together the grated apple, melted butter, sultanas, raisins, currants, mixed peel, chopped almonds, lemon rind, mixed spice, brandy, brown sugar and banana, mixing well. Set aside. Please bear in mind that this mincemeat does not keep well so is best freshly made.

6. Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas 5.

7. Divide the pastry in half and roll one half out thinly and use it to line tartlet tins.

8. Fill each tartlet case with enough mincemeat to come about three-quarters of the way up the pastry.

9. Roll out the remaining pastry and either stamp into shapes, such as stars, dampen lightly with water and press firmly but gently on top of the mincemeat or cut into circles to fit the tarts as lids. Dampen the pastry edges and press the tops down lightly, sealing the edges carefully.

10. Brush your chosen glaze on the lids. The milk will give a matt finish, and the beaten egg a shiny finish.

11. Snip the lids with a pair of scissors or sharp knife to make a small slit for the steam to escape, leaving the shapes untouched.

12. Bake for 20 minutes until light golden brown.

13. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly on a wire rack.

14. Serve warm sprinkled with icing sugar. Once completely cold mince pies can be frozen in an airtight container.

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