No Christmas would be complete without mince pies, and there is nothing like homemade mincemeat to add a little bit of luxury. Of course, you can make them with ready made mincemeat, but I have included instructions for making mincemeat in case you wish to make your own (and it is easy to make!). The mincemeat can be used straight away or can be stored in sterilised jars for several months.
For the mincemeat (makes around 1.5kg mincemeat):
- 2 apples
- Zest of 2 oranges
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 400g sultanas (or a mixture of sultanas and currants)
- 300g golden raisins
- 2 teaspoons ground mixed spice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 200g soft brown sugar
- 75g butter (or suet)
- 120ml brandy
For the pastry (sufficient for around 24 small mince pies):
- 300g flour
- 150g butter
- 75g caster sugar
- sufficient water to bind the pastry
- 1 egg to glaze the pastry
- Icing sugar to decorate
How to make the mincemeat
Peel, core and finely dice the apples and place in a pan. Add all the remaining ingredients, except the brandy. Heat over a low heat, stirring gently, until the butter has melted and the juices start to run. This will take around 10 minutes or so. Leave to cool. Stir in the brandy when the mixture has cooled.
How to make the mince pies
Weigh the flour, butter and caster sugar into a food processor and blitz until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add a small amount of water and pulse again (just sufficient to combine the ingredients and form a mass of pastry).
Roll the pastry out onto a lightly floured pastry board. Cut circles with a pastry cutter to and place in a non-stick cup cake/fairy cake tray. Fill with the mincemeat taking care not to overfill as the mixture may spill out of the pies whilst cooking. Cover with a pastry lid. Beat the egg and use this to glaze the pastry.
Bake at 200oC, 400oF, gas mark 6 until lightly golden. This should take around 15 to 20 minutes. Sieve icing sugar over the top of the mince pies when cooked. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
Why not make some mulled wine to go with your mince pies?