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Easy Mince Pies

Kayla and I made the most adorable Mince Pies this weekend - probably my favourite recipe so far. (I still firmly believe that I haven't quite "cracked it" when it comes to Mince Pies and always end up trying different recipes each and every year). I also find that everyone has their own individual preferences - some prefer less sugar in the pastry to balance out the sweetness of the fruit mince, while others (like me) end up dusting them with icing sugar for an extra sugar hit as soon as they're out the oven!

I also usually make my own fruit mince, because it's incredibly easy and tastes a lot better than store bought. But this year, I decided instead to jazz up the ready-made fruit mince to see what would happen! And it was rather delicious, I have to say!

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Fruit Mince

1 bottle ready-made fruit mince
zest of 1 orange
zest of 1 lemon
1 apple, grated
1 packet blanched almonds, chopped and toasted
2 drops Almond Essence (optional)
Big splash of brandy (I used 60 mls)

  • Combine all ingredients and mix well. 
  • Tweak according to taste. Refrigerate overnight or for a couple of hours for the flavours to combine.
  • You could also add chopped glace cherries - I might try that next time!

Pastry 

3 cups All-Purpose Flour
Pinch of Salt
175g Butter (softened to room temperature)
75g Caster Sugar
2 egg yolks
4 drops Vanilla Essence

  •  Leave butter at room temperature to soften (don't be tempted to use the microwave unless you watch it very carefully to make sure it doesn't oil in any way).
  • Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl.
  • Make a well in the centre of the flour, add the chopped butter, sugar, vanilla essence and egg yolks into the well. Mix with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  • Add a few drops of iced water at a time until the dough comes together. (Rather leave it slightly crumbly instead of too moist - otherwise it won't give you a soft crumbly consistency when cooked).
  • Wrap in cling film and chill for half an hour. 
  • Roll out thinly onto a floured surface. Use a large cutter to make shapes to line the base of your tartlet tins. Spoon in a little of the fruit mince, then cover with rounds of pastry (slightly smaller than the bases, seal the edges and make two slits in the top of the pastry for the steam to escape; or use shaped cutters for something different).
  • Bake in a preheated 190 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Dust with icing sugar. Makes approximately 18 mince pies.

In terms of Mince Pie toppings - Kayla and I chose to do heart and star shapes this year (pictured above). You can also use a full pastry disc (with or without pastry decorations), grate the remaining pastry over the mince so that it forms a "crumble", or cut shapes out of your pastry disc so that the mince can peep through. The options are endless!

MP Decor 1.jpg MP Decor 3.jpg

MP Decor 2.jpg

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