Nothing says “Christmas is here” like the smell of home made Mince Pies and a glass of Port!
Typically British and proud of it.
The Mince Pie, also known as “Mutton Pie” or “Christmas Pie”, is a traditional British pastry eaten at Christmas.
It can be traced back to the 13th Century when returning Crusaders bought back with them an abundance of rich dried fruits, meats and spices from the Middle East.
It later switched from its savoury origins and was developed into the sweet tasting snack we are so fond of today.
A bit like Marmite I find you either love them or hate them; if it’s the latter then in my opinion you haven’t found a recipe to suit your taste buds, or aren’t serving with enough Brandy Butter.
I personally love a good mince pie, and this recipe provides the perfect sweet & citrusy (and rather boozy) addition to your Christmas party!
They are freezable, so don’t worry about making one too many, simply pop them in a freezer bag when completely cooled, seal tightly and keep for next year.
T I M E Prep: 45mins Cook: 20-25min
A B I L I T Y Easy
S E R V E S 14-18 Mince Pies
R E C I P E
320g Plain Flour
20g Icing Sugar
1 tspn Nutmeg
Pinch of Salt
50ml Orange Juice (fresh is best)
20ml Cold Water
1 Egg (glaze)
Mincemeat is delicious when made fresh, however it does take time and a fair few ingredients. For this recipe I will assume you have shop bought Mincemeat. We will embelish this by adding:
2 tspn Port
2 tspn Brandy
1 lemon (zest)
3 drops of Vanilla Essence
1 tspn AllSpice
M E T H O D
1) Sieve the flour & icing sugar into a large mixing bowl, add in the nutmeg & salt.
2) Cut the butter and lard into cubes and add to the flour mixture.
Using your fingertips gently rub the fat into the flour until it forms breadcrumb like consistency.
You should be lifting the flour up and rubbing it through your finger tips to add air into the mixture. The use of lard and butter gives the pastry its nice flakey consistency and is melt in the mouth.
3) Add in the liquid slowly forming a ball with the dough. You want to add it in a little at a time as to not get the mixture too wet, it should come together to form a nice firm ball not a gooey mess. If it does get too sticky then add a little flour to the mix until the excess liquid is absorbed.
4) Put the ball into a food bag and keep in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
You can use the dough straight away but I prefer it to firm up, I find it easier to work with and it makes flakier pastry.
5) Pre-heat the oven to 200C/Gas7 and lightly grease a 12-16 hole patty tray.
6) Empty the mincemeat int a bowl. Add the port, brandy, lemon zest, Allspice and vanilla essence. Give it a gentle stir and leave to sit whilst you roll out the pastry.
7) Lightly dust some icing sugar onto a clean surface. Half the dough (one half for the bottoms and one half for the lids) and using a rolling pin roll one half of the dough out to the thickness of a £1 coin (3mm thick).
8) Take a cutter, around 10cm, and cut out the bases of your mince pies. Press them lightly into the patty holes
9) Spoon 1 1/2 teaspoons of the mince meat mixture into the pie bottoms.
10) Roll out the remaining pastry and using a smaller (7cm) cutter cut out the pie lids. You can stick these using little dabs of water around the pastry edges.
11) Beat the egg in a small bowl and brush over the pie tops.
This gives them a nice glossy finish. Bake for 20-25minutes until golden brown. Then leave to cool before dusting with icing sugar and devouring!
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