If you’ve got some more time on your hands this December, how about a little scratch cooking with our mince pie recipe? Homemade buttery pastry, and not a shop bought mincemeat in sight. We like to top ours with some piped frangipane (you can always dollop with a spoon, too) and flaked almonds…
Makes 24, at least
- 175g currants
- 175g raisins
- 175g sultanas
- 175g dried cranberries
- 100g mixed peel
- 1 small cooking apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
- 125g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 50g whole blanched almonds, roughly chopped
- 225g light muscovado sugar
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
- 200ml brandy, rum or sherry
Sweet shortcrust pastry:
- 250g unsalted butter (cold)
- Pinch of sea salt
- 200g icing sugar
- 500g plain flour
- 4 large free-range egg yolks
- 4 tablespoons cold milk, or water
- 125g of unsalted butter
- 125g of caster sugar
- 2 medium eggs
- Half a zested lemon
- 1 cap vanilla essence
- 40g plain flour
- 125g ground almonds
- Measure all of the ingredients (except the alcohol) into a large pan. Heat gently, allowing the butter to melt, then simmer very gently, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.
- Allow the mixture to cool completely then stir in the brandy, rum or sherry.
- Spoon the mincemeat into sterilised jam jars, seal tightly, label and store in a cool place.
- You can make this pastry by hand or in a food processor. Cream together the butter, sugar and a pinch of sea salt, then rub or pulse in the flour and egg yolks.
- When this mixture has come together, looking like coarse breadcrumbs, add the cold milk or water.
- Pat and gently work together to form a ball of dough. Lightly flour and push, pat and squeeze into shape. The idea is to get your ingredients to a dough form, with the minimum amount of movement, i.e. keeping your pastry flaky and short (the more you work it, the more elastic it will get, causing it to shrink in the oven and be chewy).
- Roll the pastry into a really large, short and fat sausage-shape, wrap it in clingfilm and place it in the fridge to rest for at least one hour.
- Cream together the butter and sugar
- Add the eggs one by one, then add the vanilla and lemon zest
- Fold in the flour and almonds, until smooth
- Roll the pastry out to 3mm thick
- Cut out on 85mm fluted cutter and place into tin foil cake case
- place a dollop of mincemeat into the centre and press down lightly
- Pipe over a 1cm layer of frangipane – or spoon if you don’t have a piping bag
- Scatter some flaked almonds on top
Bake at 165 degrees for 20 minutes