Homemade Mince Pies

Finished mince pies! Recipe at icanhaz.com/pies

Image via Wikipedia

I think there’s nothing more delicious than homemade Mince Pies, warmed through in the aga, sprinkled with icing sugar and served with a generous dollop of clotted cream.

This is one of my favourite festive recipes, kindly given to me by a great friend, and much loved by all my family and friends.  They’re absolutely perfect for keeping in your freezer ready for unexpected guests.

 Mincemeat

1.5 lb apples, peeled and chopped             1/2 lb honey

1 lb raisins                                                     1/2 lb butter

1 lb currants                                                  2 tsp cinnamon

1 lb sultanas                                                  Nutmeg grated

1/4 lb apricots                                               Juice of 1 lemon, orange and grapefruit 

1/4 lb almonds                                                                      

Brandy                                                                                         

Mix all the ingredients together and leave to stand for 2 days before stirring and bottling into sterilized jars.  I use old jam jars I’ve recycled, and pop them through a hot dishwasher to sterilize.

Pastry

225g plain flour                                           15g ground almonds

1/4 tsp salt                                                    1-2 tbsps orange juice

150g cold butter cut into small pieces         350g mincemeat

15g caster sugar                                           zest from one orange  

Stir the flour and salt into a bowl, add the butter and rub with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.  Stir in the sugar, almonds, and orange zest and add 1tbsp of orange juice.  Using a knife mix until you’ve made a stiff crumbly dough, adding more orange juice if required.  Bring the mixture together with your fingertips to form a round and turn onto a floured work surface.  Knead lightly for 1 minute, then wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 mins.

Roll out the pastry thinly and cut out 12 circles using a 7.5cm pastry cutter and 12 circles using a 6.5cm pastry cutter.  Use the large circles to line a greased patty tin and divide the mincemeat equally between them.  Dampen the edges of the pastry and top with the remaining circles.

To cook: Bake at 200C for 20mins until golden, sprinkle with icing sugar and wait for the pastry to melt in your mouth – delicious!!!

To freeze: After cooking I usually put my mince pies in a foil catering tray with lid and subdivide layers with grease proof paper.  When I’m ready to eat them, I take the required amount out of the freezer and place them on a baking tray and warm through at 200C.  This usually takes at least 10 minutes, but all ovens/agas vary so do check after 10 minutes. 

I hope you enjoy eating them as much as I do!

If you’re time poor Daylesford Organics currently have 6 wonderful organic mince pies for £5.95 – www.daylesfordorganics.com

If you’d like to send them as a gift  Betty’s Online Shop and Cafe Tea Room – www.bettys.co.uk – are offering 12 classic mince pies from £9:00, last orders are 17th December and The Original Hat Box Cake Company – www.theoriginalhatboxcakecompany.co.uk – have 12 mince pies beautifully packaged for £29:99 with last orders on 16th December.

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