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RECIPE: The Perfect Mince Pies

Posted in on 23rd Nov 2018 by Northcote | Leave a comment

Now is the best time to make the mincemeat for your mince pies.

They are certainly worth making and if you feel like really spoiling yourself put a large blob of double cream on top and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Keep a tray of uncooked pies in the freezer – when you receive unexpected guests over the festive period, you can have warm, fresh, crumbly treats ready to share in minutes.

Recipe

For the mincemeat:
2 granny smith apples
55g raisins
55g currants
55g sultanas
15g mixed peel
10g allspice
110g soft brown sugar
zest and juice of ½ lemon
zest and juice of ½ orange
pinch of salt
1 tsp sherry
1 tsp brandy
65g suet

For the pastry:
185g salted butter
60g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
250g plain flour

Method

For the mincemeat:
1. First sterilise the jam jar by washing thoroughly in clean, warm, soapy water and rinse well. Then place the jars upside down in a preheated oven at 125°C (fan assisted) for about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave the jars to cool.
2. Peel, core and dice the apple and place in a small non-stick frying pan. Dry fry over a low heat for a few minutes until the apple begins to soften. Allow the apple to cool down.
3. Put the apple and all the remaining ingredients apart from the suet into the bowl of a food processor and blend to a coarse consistency.
4. Fold in the suet and then transfer to the sterilised jam jar. Cover with a disc of baking parchment, then close the lid tightly and store in a cool, dark area but not in the fridge.

For the pastry:
1. Beat the butter and sugar together until it starts to turn white however make sure you do not overwork the butter or the pastry will be unworkable.
2. Beat in the egg yolk until completely incorporated.
3. Fold the flour in carefully, first using a spatula, then bring the pastry together by using your hands. Cut off ⅓ of the pastry and keep at room temperature. Roll the remaining ⅔ of pastry in a disk and wrap in cling film. Rest in the fridge for at least an hour.
4. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C (fan assisted).
5. Once the pastry has been rested, remove from the fridge and knead gently to make the pastry workable. Dust the work surface with flour and roll out to a thickness of a pound coin.
6. Lightly grease the muffin tin with some melted butter or non-stick spray. Use the cutter to cut out 12 disks and gently ease into the prepared muffin tin. Use the tips of your fingers to guide the pastry evenly into place.
7. Spoon 25g of mincemeat into each pie.
8. Reserve the cut offs of pastry and place them into the bowl of the stand mixer. Add the reserved ⅓ of pastry to the bowl too. Beat on high speed for a couple of minutes until the pastry has become pipe-able.
9. Line the piping bag with the nozzle and place the softened pastry into the bag. Pipe a ring around the inner edge of the mince pie, ensuring you do not pipe onto the tin.
10. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 22 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. Leave the mince pies to rest for 5 minutes before turning them out onto a wire cooling rack.

More festive recipes:

• Light Christmas Pudding
• Mulled Wine

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