Happy Boxing Day everyone! I hope those who celebrate had a wonderful Christmas and are currently feeling full to the brim! I cooked my first Christmas meal for my family yesterday including starters, mains and desserts (pasta was kindly provided by Nonna Netta and Zia Paola) but for the rest, I cooked for 2 days and planned all my timings to make sure it all went smoothly! And I’m so glad I did! I mean, we started eating 90 minutes after we had originally planned but that’s Italians for you! The Turkey thankfully cooked through and wasn’t dry and we had enough trimmings to feed an army! I’m going to take a break from the kitchen for a couple days now to recover!
Now, I know it might seem strange to have this recipe after Christmas but I’m not going to lie to you, my breakfast this morning were these mince pies and I would make them all over again too! Because, let’s be honest, Christmas means Mince Pies, and you can never have too many. I love them hot, I love them cold, I love them on their own and with cream. I mean, I’m kinda glad that they aren’t really available all year round. Now, I must say that the store bought pies are actually pretty great and are faff-free, but last year I decided I wanted to start making my own ones.
I've included a method using both a Thermomix if you have one, but this can easily be done in a food processor (or even by hand, it's just a little more work) but honestly it's worth it!
I love to make a large batch of mincemeat at the start of the festive season, which allows it the stew and gain more and more flavour and then I just top it up as I go along! I also prefer using butter to lard which keeps this vegetarian!
If you don't have a mini muffin tray, then don't worry! The pastry and method works just as well with a standard sized tray - you just won't get as many in one batch..but that's ok..it's so simple just make yourself another batch!
Mini Mince Pies
Mincemeat – will fill around 60 mini /30 regular mince pies 150g Golden raisins 150g Dried cranberries 150g Sultanas 150g Raisins 100g Dried apricots, chopped to roughly same size as raisins 100g Mixed peel 2 Granny smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped to roughly same size as raisins 4 Tbsp Brandy 165g Dark brown soft sugar 1.5 Tsp Mixed ground spice 1/2 Tsp Nutmeg 1 Tsp Vanilla extract 1 Orange, zest and juice 125g Unsalted butter, cold & diced
Pastry – makes around 24 mini /12 regular mince pies 200g Plain flour, plus extra for dusting 100g Unsalted butter, cold, diced 20g Caster sugar 1 pinch Sea salt 1 large Egg 2 Tbsp Milk Demerara sugar for sprinkles. Icing sugar for dusting
Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl except for the butter. Stir to combine all the dried fruit with the liquid.
Sprinkle in the butter bit-by-bit and use your hands to combine.
Store in an air-tight jar or container for at least 2-3 days before making your mince pies.
Pastry – Thermomix Method
Place flour, butter, caster sugar and salt in mixing bowl and then chop 10 sec/speed 8
Add egg and mix 20 sec/speed 4 until combined. Tip out, form into a flattened ball then wrap in cling film and place in fridge for at least 30 minutes
Preheat the oven to 200℃/ 180℃ (Fan). On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to around 3mm thick, then cut tart bases using a pastry cutter that is slightly bigger than your muffin tray.
Place pastry into a muffin tray and use your fingers to form the bases. Spoon around 1 tsp mincemeat into each one.
Use a star pastry cutter to cut the lids, these should be slightly smaller than the width of your base. Place on top of the mincemeat and press down slightly.
Brush the pies with a little milk to seal and sprinkle with the demerara sugar.
Cook in the oven for 15 minutes until slightly golden. Remove from the oven and leave in the tin for a couple minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
Dust over with icing sugar and serve hot or cold with ice cream, custard or cream.
Pastry – Food Processor Method
Place flour, butter, caster sugar and salt in mixing bowl and then pulse until you have a course mixture.
Add egg and mix until combined. Tip out, form into a flattened ball then wrap in cling film and place in fridge for at least 30 minutes. Follow the rest of steps above to complete your mince pies!
Store in an air-tight container and these will last for a good few days!