Our mince pies went down really well at the café. I assembled the recipe by combining three different ones, but lost it. I tried making it again, but they turned out differently. Thankfully, I think I know what went wrong, so here is the reconstructed recipe. Please not that this isn’t a budget recipe at all. Mince pies are quite work and cost intensive, which was the original idea.
2 cooking apples such as Bramley
1 cup of Brandy
500g mix of raisins, sultanas, etc. I used a fruit mix from Waitrose, which also has a bit of pineapple in it
1 veg or standard suet
250g soft brown sugar
1 bag dried cranberries (or use fresh ones)
handful of dried, chopped plums
handful of dried, chopped apricots
a few dates, stoned and chopped
vanilla sugar or some other vanilla
pot of mixed peel (about 100g)
juice and grated peel of 1 orange and 1 lemon
1/2 ground nutmeg
small bag of flaked almonds
dash of cinnamon (not too much)
small grated ginger root
a few ground cloves
The cranberries were super nice, and one recipe also used grated carrot, which seemed like a nice addition. Wasn’t so sure about the same recipe adding glacé cherries, but cocktail cherries might be a nice addition, if you like almond flavour.
Pour brandy over the raisin based fruit mix. Soak for a few hours. Add all other ingredients, and slowly heat and simmer for about an hour. Suet, sugar and juice needs to have soaked into the fruit really well. If too try, add citrus fruit juice. Mandarin juice is also nice.
Ladle hot mixture into sterilised jars and leave to sit for at least 2 weeks. If you like booze, top the jars up with a little bit more brandy.
When it’s mince pie time, make some pastry and also add a few things to your mincemeat to lift it up a bit. I added 1 large chopped bramley apple and some fresh orange peel and juice (or you can chop in some satsumas).
375g plain flour
250g unsalted butter, softened
125g caster sugar or combination of caster and icing sugar
1 large egg
1 beaten egg, mixed with bit of milk for glazing
and icing sugar for dusting
Combine ingredients for pastry and place dough in the fridge for at least 30 mins.
Roll out dough and cut out circles with a cookie cutter, a cup/bowl or other device. Place discs on top of the moulds on the tray and gently push them down. Make sure, you have put a stick of non-stick paper in them, so that you can lift the mince pies out more easily. You can also butter and flour the moulds, if no baking parchment is at hand.
Next, spoon in some of the filling. Lastly, cut out some star or other shapes from the rolled-out dough to cover the pies. Brush them with the egg-milk mixture.
Put mince pies in the oven for about 15-20 mins at 200 degrees celsius.
Before serving, dust with icing sugar!