IT’S CHRISTMAS, though I’m not sure if this will be published ON Christmas but close enough!
And what’s more Christmassy then a mince pie! Some people make them with premade mince and premade crust. But this recipe is for making your own mince to your tastes and you can either use your own preferred crust recipe or frozen store made, just double it up!
And if you are a teetotaler [Or Underage] you can leave the booze out, the alcohol does pretty much completely bake away but some people may be concerned anyway.
You will need!
- 3 cups dried fruit (a good mix is 50g, or around 1/3 cup, each of dark raisins, golden raisins, currants, figs, apricots, cranberries, apple, mulberries, and pears, but you can add other types if you want, switch up the amounts, whatever you like best, you could even experiment with dried citrus! Just make it total 3 cups in the end and have at least three types)
- 25 grams candied ginger
- 1 apple, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch cubes (Braeburn or Granny Smith work well)
- 1 orange, zested and juiced
- 1 cup (240ml) port (can be substituted with red wine, or left out)
- 1/2 stick (60g) butter
- 1/3 cup (70g) dark brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 salt
- 1/4 cup (60ml) brandy or cognac
- Your favorite pie dough recipe x 2 or 2 premade pie crusts
- 1 egg, whisked together with one tablespoon water (for egg wash)
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Sharp knifes
- Muffin tin or tart mold
- Saucepan or your cauldron
- 3 inch round cookie cutter
- Pastry brush
- Wire cooling rack
- To make the mincemeat, chop up the larger dried fruits (like whole figs and apricots) into roughly 1/2-inch pieces. Transfer all the dried fruit into a pot, and add the candied ginger, apple, orange juice and zest, port, butter, sugar, salt, and all the spices. Bring this to a boil, then turn the heat down to a low simmer, and let it cook for 30 to 40 minutes, until nearly all the liquid has evaporated. Then, add in the brandy or cognac, and let cool to room temperature before transferring to an airtight jar or container. (The mincemeat keeps well for up to a month in the refrigerator. I like keeping them for at least a week before using it, as the flavor will deepen and develop a bit more, but it works fresh too!)
- If you are making your pie dough do so now. Otherwise just get out your premade refrigerated pie dough
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C), and ready a mini muffin tin or individual tartlet moulds to bake the mince pies in.
- Take the pie dough out of the refrigerator, and roll it out until 1/8-inch (3-4mm) thick. Cut out 20-25 little discs of dough with a 3-inch round cookie cutter, and nestle each disc into the muffin tin or tartlet moulds. Then, dollop a tablespoon of mincemeat into each pie. (If your work surface isn’t quite big enough to punch out 20-25 dough discs, you can split the initial dough in half and work in batches.)
- Using a star-shaped cookie cutter, punch little stars out of the dough, gathering and re-rolling it out as needed. Place these dough stars on top of the mince pies, and brush a thin layer of egg wash on top.
- Bake the mince pies in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden. When they’re done, remove from the moulds and let them cool down on a wire rack until warm to touch. Repeat the baking process until all your mince pies are baked.
- Dust a flurry of icing sugar on top of the mince pies and serve on a large cookie platter. (They keep well for up to a week in an airtight container. If you’re saving them for later, pop them into the oven for 5 minutes to warm up right before serving.)