Mince pies are a British Christmas classic, and a real tradition in our home every year. I've also been known to make some extras to give away for family and friends as Christmas Gifts!
My little cheat here is to use ready-rolled, shop-bought puff pastry - Saves a heap of time and tastes just as great!! ;)
* 1 sheet of ready rolled puff pastry
* Mince Meat Filling (recipe below or buy a jar of ready made filling from most supermarkets)
* Icing sugar for dusting
The night before prepare the mince meat filling: (attention - This is a sweet filling and NOT made from real meat!) - I got my original filling recipe from Delia Smith, or you can buy a jar of ready-made filling:
Making the Mince Meat Filling:
* 8oz (225g) Bramley apples, cored and chopped small (no need to peel them)
* 4 oz (110 g) shredded suet or freeze a block of butter and grate them on a corase grated whilst frozen
* 6oz (175 g) raisins
* 4oz (110 g) sultanas
* 4oz (110 g) currants
* 4oz (110 g) whole mixed candied peel, finely chopped
* 6oz (175 g) soft dark brown sugar
* grated zest and juice 1 orange
* grated zest and juice 1 lemon
* 1 oz (25 g) whole almonds, cut into slivers
* 2 level teaspoons mixed ground spice
* ¼ level teaspoon ground cinnamon
* good pinch freshly grated nutmeg
* 3 tablespoons brandy
All you do is combine all the ingredients, except for the brandy, and leave in a dry place covered overnight.
The following day, pre-heat the oven to gas mark ¼, 225°F (120°C). Cover the bowl loosely with foil and place it in the oven for 3 hours, then remove from the oven. let it cool, stirring from time to time. When the mincemeat is cold, stir in the brandy. Keep in sterilized jars for months in the fridge or use straight away.
1) Preheat oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
2) Cut out round measuring approx. 7.5cm(3in) with a cookie cutter.
3) Place in lightly greased patty tins and spoon the mincemeat evenly into the pies.
4) With the leftover pastry cut out round stars to fit on top of the mincemeat.
5) Bake in the oven for 12 - 15 minutes until golden.
6) Remove from oven and leave for a few minutes before removing from tins and cooling on a wire rack.
7) Dust with icing sugar and serve!