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.
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
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.
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.