Christmas Mince Pies
For 3-4 cups:
rind of 1 lemon rind of 1 orange
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large Granny Smith apples
juice of 1 lemon
2 cups sultanas
2 cups mixed fruit
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 cup brandy, whisky, rum, sherry or port
To some people, Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without a mince pie! While there are some good bought ones out there, they’re seldom as good as your own homemade version.
Peel the coloured rind from the lemon and orange with a potato peeler. Place it in a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade, add the white sugar and process until the rind is very finely chopped.
Add the brown sugar, the unpeeled apples cut into chunks, lemon juice, half the sultanas and half the mixed fruit. Process until the apple is finely chopped. Add the remaining fruit and the flavourings, and process briefly.
You can use this immediately or transfer it to clean airtight containers and refrigerate until required (2-3 weeks). Freeze for longer storage.
Alison still likes to make her own sweet short pastry, while if feeling virtuous having made fruit mince, Simon is happy with bought frozen pastry. Either way, roll the pastry until it’s about 3mm thick.
Mini-muffin pans make lovely little pies, for these you’ll need to cut 6cm rounds (use a fluted cutter, a round cutter or a glass) and press them gently into non-stick sprayed mini muffin tins.
Drop a heaped teaspoon of fruit mince into each one, then finish by placing a star, or other shape, of pastry on top (ball up and roll out the trimmings for these) before baking at 180°C for 10-12 minutes or until the pastry begins to brown.
If you want to make slightly larger pies in patty pans, you’ll need an 8-9cm cutter, but the rest of the process is the same.