Christmas

Mince Pies- Three Ways

Mince pies have to be my favourite festive food to come out at Christmas. They’re so easy to make and go down a treat. I love their versatility and that is exactly what this blog post shows. This post has 3 different ways to make your mince pies this Christmas- Traditionally with a close pastry top or with a frangipane topping or, with a streusel crumble. Whether you prefer the traditional closed pie or want to try something a little different this year- give this a read! There is plenty of room to get creative, impress a crowd, and get in the festive mood!

I think I am so fond of mine pies as they take me back to being with my Gran. From such a young age we’d make them together ready for Christmas holidays. I loved playing a part in making something which the whole family loved to eat and enjoyed thoroughly. I also love the fact that mince pies as a bake as are so forgiving. Homemade, they taste so much better than buying from the shop. I find this allows lots of room for some mess and imperfections. This takes the pressure off of anyone who worries about baking!

Mince pies were originally filled with meat and oval shaped. This was again, similar to stollen which was to resemble the manger. The pastries changed shape and filling to be the sweet treat they are today when English crusaders bought back ingredients from the Middle East. Spices, fruits, and meats filled the pies making them packed full of flavour. The only difference today, is that meat is no longer used, which of course, has made the bake sweeter!

This post will give the base recipe which forms the bottom pastry base and mincemeat filling. Then it is up to you to choose which option you want on the top- more pastry, frangipane sponge, or a nutty crumble.

Serve warm and with cream or ice cream for full enjoyment!

Recipe inspired by Paul Hollywood, Waitrose, Stork and My Gran.

Recipe:

(Makes 15-16)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Jar of Mince Meat
  • 1 Satsuma
  • Brandy
  • Some Icing Sugar

Shortcrust Pastry (this will make enough for the closed top mince pies, otherwise there will be extra pastry you can reuse within a day)

  • 375g Plain Flour
  • 260g Margarine
  • 125 Golden Caster Sugar
  •  1 Egg (1 extra egg if you’re adding a pastry top to your pies)

Frangipane Topping

  • 150g Ground Almonds
  • 100g Margarine
  • 100g Caster Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Almond Extract
  • 1 Egg + 1 Egg Yolk
  • 25g Plain Flour

Streusel Crumble

  • 25g Margarine
  • 35g Plain Flour
  • 20g Light Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons of Chopped Nuts (I did Hazelnuts)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Cinnamon

Method:

  1. Empty a jar of mincemeat into a bowl and add the zest of 1 satsuma and 3 tablespoons of brandy. Leave to soak up the flavours.
  2. To make the pastry break your margarine into squares in a bowl. Add the flour then rub the ingredients together until the whole mix resembles crumbs.
  3. Add the sugar and stir
  4. Beat the egg in a separate bowl then add to the mix. Mix the egg well, then bring all together to make a ball of dough. It may still be a sticky don’t worry!
  5. Put the pastry onto a floured surface and knead a little but don’t work it too much! Add more flour if you’re still worried about it being sticky.
  6. Place the bowl on cling film and push down a little to make is spread out slightly. Cover with cling film fully and place in the fridge for 20 mins.
  7. In the meantime, make the topping of your choice (see options below) and Pre Heat the oven to 180 degrees.
  8. Take your pastry out the fridge and roll out on a floured surface. Do this until you’ve reached your desired thickness- everyone’s different! Don’t make it too thin or it will break/leak
  9. Use a large circular cutter to cut out your bases – start with 15 and you can always cut out more if you can make more.
  10. Place these into a grease cupcakes tin or in a tin foil case. Press the circle down lightly into the mould and ensure there isn’t too much air below it.
  11. Place 1 teaspoon-1 1/2 teaspoons of mincemeat into the pastry cases- you don’t want to overfill them or they will leak out.
  12. Add your topping (go to appropriate option below)
  13. Place in the oven for 20 mins cool on a wiring rack once they aren’t too hot to take out the cake tin.
  14. Once fully cooled, finish with dusting with icing sugar, and/or edible gold dust.

Pastry Closed Top:

  1. The shortcrust pastry recipe will allow enough to make the pastry toppers too. Using a smaller cutter than before cut out 15 small circles from the pastry.
  2. Place on top of your filling and us a fork to press down the edges. Use the fork to prick holes into the top as well.
  3. Beat an egg in a bowl and brush on top of the pastry cases
  4. Bake for 20 mins- they’ll be done once the edges start to brown slightly.

Frangipane Sponge Topping

  1. Beat all the ingredients in a bowl using a wooden spoon
  2. Place one teaspoon of the mix onto your mince filling and use a back of a spoon to spread it across the top. Add little bits at a time until you have covered the mincemeat.
  3. Bake for 20 mins- they’ll be done once the edges start to brown slightly.

Streusel Topping

  1. Cut the butter into small squares then add the flour. Use your fingertips to rub together until it resembles crumbs.
  2. Add the sugar, cinnamon and chopped nuts and stir
  3. Sprinkle the crumble on top of the mincemeat until you’re happy with how thick the layer is.
  4. Bake in the oven for 20 mins.

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