Christmas time is usually associated with special recipes that quite often are traditional to our family. Along with Christmas Cake and Christmas Pudding, Mince Pies are an essential part of my Christmas celebrations. Mince Pies are part of Christmas baking that reminds me of the magic that was Christmas while I was growing up. My parents would both do their part in making sure our childhood Christmas memories were special. My mother with her Christmas cooking and my father when he would go to the ‘Christmas Tree farm’ every year to personally choose the fresh pine tree that would be chopped down. He would usually swear a few colourful words as he dragged it in the house, realising (every year) that the tree was too high for our ceiling. Our tree was huge when you consider that the ceiling was 2 floors high, and our school friends would visit to see the size of our tree ever year. My English grandmother Doreen was in charge of untangling and testing all the light before they went onto the tree, and only then would we be allowed to start decorating it. My father would have to use a ladder to reach the higher branches and you can imagine the struggle to put the star on the top every year.
Christmas Fruit Mince Pies
- 250-300g plain flour
- 125g butter
- 125g sugar
- 1 egg + 1 yolk
- pinch salt
FILLING: Click here —> Christmas Fruit Mince for the post dedicated to the preparation of the fruit mince filling.
Although there is a post dedicated to the mince pie filling, I will list the ingredients here too. I do suggest you read the post dedicated to the preparation of the fruit mince filling though.
- 500g sultanas
- 500g raisins
- 500g currants
- 125g mixed peel
- 250g suet (grated or finely chopped)
- 500g granny smith apples
- 500g brown sugar
- grated rind of 1 lemon + 1 orange
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 250ml Brandy or Rum
Now we all know how delicious they can be with a cup of tea, but don’t forget how you can make them a decadent dessert for a Christmas dinner party with a scoop of good quality vanilla or zabaione gelato, or serve them warm with a dollop of brandy butter. I have to thank Matt Preston (Australian Masterchef judge) though for introducing me to a new Christmas addiction. It was in the December/January issue of Delicious (Australian food magazine) that I saw Matt serving Christmas Cake with Gorgonzola….. and it was at that moment that I knew I had to try it with a Mince Pie! I went to my trustworthy and super fabulous deli Franchi (Via Cola di Rienzo, Roma) and bought a piece of Gorgonzola that had been aged with blueberries. (Perfect as I’d also added dried blueberries to my Fruit Mince this year).
There are NO WORDS to describe just how luxuriously delicious this combination is!
I’ve added a little collage step by step…. and if you’re wondering what I did with that little paint brush, I used a little bit of Armagnac to soak up the icing sugar that fell into the shapes!
- To make your pastry, in a food processor, process flour, sugar, butter and a pinch of salt until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- With food processor motor running, add egg and egg yolk. Process until mixture begins to form large clumps, stopping machine before mixture forms a ball.
- Turn pastry out on to a lightly floured surface and knead gently to bring together. Divide pastry into two parts, form into two discs, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate preferably overnight or for at least 2 hours.
- Roll half of pastry out thinly and cut it into two dozen 7.5 cm rounds, gather up the scraps and re-roll. Do the same with the other half of the pastry, this time using the 6 cm round cutter. Cut out desired shape from these rounds, or you may prefer to cover your mince pies with pastry stars.
- Grease the cupcake tins lightly and line them with the larger rounds. Fill these with mincemeat to the level of the edges of the pastry. Dampen the edges of the smaller rounds of pastry with milk and press them lightly into position to form lids, sealing the edges.
- Brush each one with milk, and bake for 25-30 minutes at 200°C until light golden brown.
- Cool on a wire tray and sprinkle with icing sugar. When cool, store in an airtight container.