Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without homemade Mince Pies!
For the Pastry:
225g plain flour
pinch of salt
150g butter, cut into pieces
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 egg yolk
For the Mince Meat;
100g/3 ½oz butter or vegetable suet
200g/7oz soft brown sugar
Juice and zest of 3 oranges
2 teaspoons ground mixed spice
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
A good grating of whole nutmeg or a pinch of ready ground
250g/9oz Bramley apples, washed, cored and finely chopped or grated
100g/3 ½ oz dried cranberries
200g/7oz chopped, mixed candied peel
150ml brandy, rum or whisky
For the pastry;
- Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl and rub in the butter using your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar.
- Mix the egg yolk with 3 tbsp cold water, then add to the dry ingredients and mix with a round-bladed knife to a dough.
- Knead gently until just smooth. Wrap the pastry in clingfilm and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes before rolling out.
For the mincemeat;
- Mix the butter or suet, sugar, orange juice and the spices in a large pan and allow to melt together over a gentle heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture is smooth.
- Add the apples to the pan with sultanas, currants, cranberries, candied peel and orange zest.
- Bring gently to the boil and simmer until the apples are tender, 5-10 minutes.
- Allow to cool before adding the alcohol, stirring well.
- Cool completely before packing into clean, dry jam jars and sealing with a lid.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out half of the pastry to a 3mm thickness. Using a 7.5cm cutter, stamp out 12 rounds of pastry. Gently press these into a greased muffin tin. Spoon 1 tbsp of mincemeat into each pastry case.
- Using the second half of the pastry utilise a star shaped cutter and cut out 12 stars as toppers.
- Brush the tops with egg white. Bake at 190oc (170oc fan oven) for 20 - 25 minutes until the pastry is golden. Leave in the tins for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.