Monday, December 6, 2010

Mince pies - my way

I think Mince Pies are somewhat of an acquired taste, but if you make your own mincemeat, then you can tweak the recipe and add more spice and raisins, if you like them, and less if you don't.

Many mincemeat recipes use suet which gives a mince pie that almost greasy 'mouthfeel' that you get with some of them. I use that great Nigella recipe which was given to her by her friend Hettie and it substitutes apples to provide the 'fluffiness'.   (Find it in Nigella's 'Domestic Goddess' book)

Here is a link to the recipe (no time to type this evening...):

I am also somewhat averse to too much pastry (trying to maintain the figure y'know ?). Anyway, instead I use marzipan (because that's just SO healthy no ??) Actually, I really just don't want a top and bottom layer of pastry.. The marzipan caramelizes when baked so you are left with the most gorgeous chewy, almondy loveliness.

I made these last year with my vintage mincemeat and again this year, with more vintage mincemeat. Whilst I cannot advocate keeping your mincemeat for two years (eek!), mine has been in an unopened jar and still tastes seriously scrummy. Indeed, I think the flavours have developed in a most lovely way...

Last year I took some mince pies to work and the girls there loved them and this year they begged me to make some more, and you know how I just love to have my food complimented. I just couldn't resist taking them some more to hear their appreciation. And oh lordie mcglordie, were they good !

This is the easiest recipe in the world.

1) Preheat your oven to 200 deg c.

2) Take a bun tray and grease it.

3) Buy some frozen pastry. Defrost it and roll it out. (or make your own if you have time..)

4) Cut pastry circles to fit you tin (pastry about 3-5mm thick)

5) Fill your pastry cases two thirds full with your mincemeat.

6) Roll out your marzipan to about 3mm thick

7) Cut out stars or other Christmassy shape and place on top of the mincemeat

8) Brush the stars and any exposed pastry with beaten egg for a glossy finish.

9) Place in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the marzipan has caramelized as shown below.
10) Leave to cool on a wire tray (if you can resist !)

10) Pack the mince pies into clear bags and tie with ribbons

11) Take them to your friends and be adored ! :o)

Dust with icing before serving if you wish.

Merry Christmas everyone!

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