Well! I don’t often say it but Brenda has come up trumps with her fantastic mince pies. Like you, I know she’s a ghastly old curmudgeon but underneath that hideous exterior lies an ability to cook well when she makes the effort.
We are now in the run up to Christmas and time is short. The mincemeat is now made and the pastry (see previous post) is ready so it’s really a case of compilation.
Take about a quarter of the puff pastry (about 250g) and roll it out. Roll it pretty thin. We can’t bear thick pastry – it is the case but it’s not the filling too!
Take a greased muffin tin and place the pastry within each holder.
At this point Brenda had a brainwave and added a small ball of marzipan to each pie, placing it in the centre. The marzipan was left over from the christmas cake (recipe forthcoming!) and it’s a delicious addition. Place the mincemeat around the marzipan, and then add the pie topping. Apply some egg wash and then place it in the oven for 30 minutes at 180°c /350°f.
Serve with some lovely double cream with added lemon zest and grand marnier and frankly you will never want to eat a commercial mince pie again!
If you are thinking of leaving mince pies out for some gaudily dressed and rather overweight bearded old man who may want to pop down your chimney then may I suggest leaving a few of these mince pies under the christmas tree. Of course he will probably be unable to go back up your chimney as these mince pies are delicious so if you hear the front door slam in the middle of the night don’t be too surprised.
This year we have decided to make our own mincemeat. Our recipe does without beef suet and instead it uses butter. I am a big fan of home made mince pies and find that most of the commercial ones are okay but somehow lack the feasting element in their soul. They are convenient, but so is my fridge. I want something that says “let’s celebrate”. And believe me when you have to look at Fanny’s face every day a little joy is very welcome.
We spent the majority of the time finding the right ingredients – ie the ingredients that we wanted in the mincemeat. It’s strange how much time it does take up, and to get ready. This is also half the fun though. We also candied our own peel and I had to show you the candied grapefruit peel- what a colour! And it’s delicious too. Please refer to our candy peel recipe if you want to make it.
Homemade Mincemeat Ingredients
100 g salted butter
250ml juice from citrus
2 large apples, peeled (e.g.. braeburns)
100g dried currants
80 g glace morello cherries
100g chopped dried figs
100g chopped prunes
200g candied mixed peel (grapefruit, orange, lemon)
Zest and juice of one orange and lemon
100g dark brown sugar
100ml triple sec
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
Get a large pot and place the butter, sugar and spices in the pan on a medium heat. Allow the butter to melt and stir.
Add the rest of the ingredients.
Stir well and let simmer for half an hour or until most of the juice has evaporated.
Switch off hob and leave to cool.
Sterilise a jar by heating to 100°C for twenty minutes; then leave to cool thoroughly.
Add mincemeat to jar.
You can store this in the fridge and it will last for this Christmas period, ready to be used at any time over the next few weeks.