Home-Made Christmas Mince Pies
My version. Make the filling at least a couple of months ahead.
1 lb (450 g) Bramley apples, cored and chopped small (no need to peel them)
4 oz (100 g) slivered almonds
4 tsp ground spice, (pumpkin pie spice in the US)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 t vanilla extract
1 t almond extract
1/2 cup brandy and/or rum
Rekorderlig Strawberry and Lime Cider, Bottle of
8 oz (225 g) shredded suet, or butter
12 oz (350 g) raisins
8 oz (225 g) sultanas
8 oz (225 g) currants
8 oz (225 g) dried cranberries
8 oz (250 g) xylitol, or agave nectar, (use less)
grated zest and juice 2 oranges
grated zest and juice 2 lemons
8 oz candied peel, (optional)
375 g gluten-free flour, (I use a mixture of buckwheat/rice/sorghum.
The dough gets re-worked a lot, so gluten-free won't get
260 g unsalted butter, softened
125 g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 large egg, plus 1 beaten egg for glazing
Combine all the ingredients, except for the brandy/rum, in a large mixing bowl, stirring them and mixing them together very thoroughly indeed.
Cover the bowl with a clean cloth and leave the mixture in a cool place overnight or for 12 hours, so the flavours have a chance to mingle and develop.
After that pre-heat the oven to 110ºC.
I've only guessed at the measurements.
Taste it and throw in more spice, rum, etc.
Cover the bowl loosely with foil and place it in the oven for 3 hours, then remove the bowl from the oven.
Don't worry about the appearance of the mincemeat, which will look positively swimming in fat.
This is how it should look.
As it cools, stir it from time to time; the fat will coagulate and, instead of it being in tiny shreds, it will encase all the other ingredients.
If using butter, it will be slightly cloudy.
It will clear when cooked in the pies.
When the mincemeat is quite cold, stir well again, adding the brandy/rum.
Pack in jars that have been sterilised.
When filled, cover with waxed discs and seal.
The mincemeat will keep for years in a cool, dark cupboard.
PastryPlace the flour and butter in a bowl and rub together to a crumb consistency.
Add the sugar and the egg, and mix together.
Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and fold until the pastry comes together, be careful not to over mix.
Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill for 10 mins.
Assemble the PiesHeat oven to 200C.
Roll out the pastry to 3mm thick.
Using a round cutter (about 10cm), cut out 16 bases and place them into muffin trays.
Put 1¬Ω t bsp mincemeat mixture into each.
Brush the edge of each pie with a little beaten egg.
Re-roll out the pastry to cut 7cm lids and press them on top to seal.
Glaze with the rest of the egg, sprinkle with caster sugar, then make a small cut in the tops.
Bake mince pies for 15-20 mins until very golden brown.
Leave to cool before releasing them from the muffin trays and dusting with icing or castor sugar.