Mince Pies

If you popped into the shop yesterday you might have been lucky enough to have one of these freshly baked treats before they were all gone. Not to worry they are really easy to make. And if you have time make your own mincement!
Ingredients (W-available from Weigh Ahead)
• 75g of unsalted butter, softened
• 40g of icing sugar (W)
• 1 egg, beaten (W)
• 1 pinch of salt (W)
• 150g of plain flour, plus extra for dusting (W)
Fruit Mince Mix
• 500g of mincemeat*
• 1 Bramley apple, peeled and grated
• 1 orange, zested
• 50g of pitted prunes, finely chopped
• 25g of dried cranberries, finely chopped
• 1 tsp black treacle
1. To make the pastry, combine the butter and icing sugar in a large bowl and using a wooden spoon or electric whisk, cream until pale, light and fluffy
2. Add the egg and salt and mix well to combine. Sprinkle in the flour and mix in gently to form a dough. Be careful not to over-mix or your finished pastry will not be as crispy
3. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and shape into a flat round disc. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge to rest
4. Remove the pastry from the fridge and dust in flour, place onto a large sheet of baking paper. Roll the dough out to a thickness of 3mm. Place back in the fridge for 30 minutes
5. Remove from the fridge and use the pastry cutter to make 12 circles and then 12 smaller circles (or stars) for the tops. Lightly flour each one as you go and set aside in the fridge while you make the mincemeat mix
6. Combine all of the mincemeat ingredients in a bowl
7. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
8. Remove the pastry rounds from the fridge and lightly grease the pastry tin holes with a little butter or vegetable spray. Line each hole, ensuring the pastry is firmly in place
9. Spoon in the mincemeat mix so it comes two thirds of the way up each mould
10. Place a pastry top on each
11. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until the pastry is cooked through.
*Mincemeat recipe
1 cooking apple
Dried Fruit:
I like to choose my own favourite fruits for this. As long as the total weight is approx. 700g. Weigh Ahead stock:
Figs; Apricots; Dates; Cranberries; Sultanas; Raisins; Currants; Cherries; Mixed Peel; Prunes
200g shredded vegetable suet
1 lemon, juiced
½ nutmeg, finely grated
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp allspice
5 tbsp brandy
Grate the cooking apple and place in a pan with the rest of the ingredients.
Mix well and heat gently to melt the suet, cook for about 10 minutes until the mixture is sticky and shiny.
Take off the heat and leave to cool before adding the brandy and dividing between jars.
Makes approx. 2 x 500g jars
This recipe is adapted from the Great British Chefs