Category Archives: mincemeat

Mince pie

Here is a mince pie made with the Christmas mincemeat, shortly before being polished off by me.  I like mince pies in all forms, whether made with shortcrust or puff pastry.  Last night I made them with shortcrust pastry.

As you will see from the picture at the bottom we love mince pies so much in this house that we also make them during the summer holidays.

This makes 24 mince pies.  You can freeze mince pies in the patty tins, once frozen you can then place them in a freezer bag for easier storage. When you are ready to cook simply place them back into the patty tin. They will need a few more minutes if cooking from frozen.

350g plain flour
175g butter
cold water

450g mincemeat

1 egg, beaten
light soft brown sugar or icing sugar to dust

Method

I always make my pastry in a food processor as it means you handle the pastry less and it makes for a crumblier texture.  Place the flour and butter in a processor and pulse until it becomes the texture of breadcrumbs. (If you are doing it by hand rub the butter and the flour lightly through your fingertips, lifting your hands up high in the air over the bowl as you do it until all of the butter and flour is combined and the texture of breadcrumbs).  Add enough cold water to form a dough (probably about 4-5 tablespoons, but add carefully) and mix until just combined.  Remove from the bowl and place in a plastic bag or cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to about 3mm thick.  Using a 7.5cm round pastry cutter, cut 24 rounds out of the pastry and using a 6 cm round pastry cutter cut another 24 rounds out.  You will need to re-roll the pastry to use it all up and I normally do this in two batches, splitting the dough into one ball that is two-thirds of the dough for the larger rounds and the second ball that is one-third of the dough for the smaller rounds.

Place the larger rounds into the bottom of each hole in two patty tins. Using a pastry brush, brush a little egg around the top of each pie.

Place a teaspoon of mincemeat into each pie, don’t overfill or it will burst out and burn during cooking.  Place the smaller rounds on top, pressing around the edge gently. Pierce a small hole in the top of each pie with the point of a sharp knife. Brush the top of each pie with egg.

Cook in a preheated oven at 200°c (400°f, gas mark 6) for 25-30 minutes until they are golden brown.  Dust with sugar or icing sugar as soon as they come out of the oven.

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Christmas mincemeat with pecans and dried cherries

Well I missed Stir-up Sunday but I did manage to get round to making my mincemeat this week. It is worth making just for having the smell of Christmas in the house for a couple of days whilst it sits and soaks. I used Delia Smith’s recipe as a guide but added dried sour cherries and pecan nuts – two of my favourite things. I made the first batch last night, baking twelve and freezing twelve, and I am deeming this mincemeat a success. They get eaten pretty quickly in this house as the girls are both fans of a mince-pie too.  I am looking forward to making the next batch already. I use vegetarian suet so that I can offer them to anyone who may call.

This recipe makes 6lb (2.75kg) of mincemeat.

450g Bramley apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped (I used two large apples to get this weight)
200g vegetarian suet
200g raisins
200g sultanas
200g currants
100g dried sour cherries
200g whole candied peel, chopped finely
350g soft dark brown sugar
grated rind and juice of 2 oranges
grated rind and juice of 2 lemons
50g pecan nuts, chopped
4 tsp mixed spice
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ whole nutmeg, grated
6 tbsp good quality brandy

Method

Mix all of the ingredients, except the brandy, in a large bowl, making sure that everything is well combined.  Cover with a cloth and leave to stand for twelve hours.  Cover it loosely with foil and then place it in a low oven (120°c, 225°f) for three hours so that the suet melts and covers the rest of the ingredients.  This will help preserve the mincemeat for longer.  Allow it to go completely cold.  Stir the brandy in well (this is when the smell is at its most delicious and really is Christmas in a bowl!) and then spoon into sterile jars and seal.

Mincemeat will last for twelve months in a cool dark place.

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After the suet has melted