Christmas Mince Pies

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Although my Fruit Mince hasn’t been macerating for weeks, I decided to make a few Mince Pies to get myself into the spirit of Christmas. Well any excuse is good and as I was ‘test tasting’ the first 4, I was wondering why I only make these once a year! I thought I’d try a different shape and baked the first batch like little boats with a pastry leaf as the lid…. I used a silicone tray and I decided quickly they are not good for pastry. I then reverted to my trusty cupcake pans and made the first Mince Pies I was happy to photograph and share with you all.

Pastry Recipe:

  • 250-300g plain flour
  • 125g butter
  • 125g sugar
  • 1 egg + 1 yolk
  • pinch salt

FILLING: https://tonibrancatisano.com/2015/12/04/christmas-fruit-mince/

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

 

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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 though for introducing me to my Christmas addiction this year. My friend Michelle from Australia recently visited Rome and I was very spoilt as she also bought with her 4 heavy foodie mags for me. It was in the December/January issue of Delicious 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 Cols 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).

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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!

Collage

  1. To make your pastry, in a food processor, process flour, sugar, butter and a pinch of salt until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 water and press them lightly into position to form lids, sealing the edges.
  6. Brush each one with milk, and bake for 25-30 minutes at 200°C until light golden brown.
  7. Cool on a wire tray and sprinkle with icing sugar. When cool, store in an airtight container.