by Karen Douglas

It’s that time of the year again. I love Christmas; the music, the food, the bling and did I mention the food 🙂

Luckily this year Sharon and Nick have asked me to contribute a couple of Christmas recipes to their lovely blog so I have the excuse to make even more Christmassy goodness…

I decided to go with an oldie but a goodie, the Mince pie. Mince pies can be traced back to 13th Century Britain when travellers brought back new and interesting recipes and ingredients, including fruits and spices, such as nutmeg and cloves. The original mince pie actually did contain meat, but throughout time it has morphed into the meatless version we know and love or in some cases not love today.

I have chosen to go a little off the traditional track and have added dried cherries and a cherry brandy to mine this year. If you are not a fan of cherries you can swap the dried cherries for sultanas and the cherry brandy to a regular brandy.

Recipe

Makes 15 pies

Ingredients

  • 100gm (3.5oz) caster sugar
  • 150gm (5.3oz) unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 250gm (8.1oz) plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 95gm (3.35oz) dried cherries, chopped in half
  • 80gm (2.8oz) currants
  • 50gm (1.76oz) raisins
  • 50gm(1.76oz) sultanas
  • 85gm (2.99oz) brown sugar
  • 100gm (3.5oz) cherry brandy
  • 75gm (2.64oz) butter, chopped
  • 1 granny smith apple, peeled and grated

Method

  1. Beat the butter and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and creamy.
  2. Add egg, flour and baking powder and mix until just starting to combine.
  3. Scrape mixture onto a clean work surface and knead until the mixture comes together fully. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge while you make the mince.
  4. Place all the mince ingredients into a saucepan over medium heat and cook for approx. 5 minutes or until soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  5. Preheat oven to 180°C (356°F) and spray a cupcake/miniature pie tray with oil.
  6. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured bench, use a round cutter to cut 15 circles of pastry. Roll out the left over pieces and cut out star shapes using a star cutter.
  7. Place the pastry rounds into the cupcake/pie pan.
  8. Spoon the mince mixture into the pastry case.
  9. Place a pastry star on to the top of each pie
  10. Bake for approx. 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
  11. Allow pies to cool in the pan before turning out onto a wire rack.
  12. Dust with caster sugar or icing sugar before serving.

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