One of my favorite things to eat this time of year is mince pies. Little mouthfuls of boozy mixed fruit in delectable pastry cases. Yum.
Here are two mince pie recipes I really like and an excellent recipe for mincemeat to fill them with.
Make a lot. Mince pies go fast. You can freeze both of these recipes if you want to make them ahead.
Melt In The Mouth Mini Mincemeat Pies
500g mincemeat (recipe follows)
milk, for brushing pastry
caster (granulated) sugar, to sprinkle
Ingredients for the pastry:
300g (2 1/4 cups) plain flour
3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1/2 tsp salt
175g (6oz) unsalted butter, cold
175g (6oz) cream cheese
3 tablespoons single cream or 3 tablespoons double (heavy) cream
Directions for the pastry:
1. Sift the flour into a bowl with the confectioners’ sugar and 1/2 tsp salt. Using a pastry blender or food processor, cut the butter and cream cheese into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
2. Add enough cream to form a soft dough. Gather into a ball and knead briefly to smooth the dough. Divide in half; wrap each in cling film and chill for at least an hour.
Directions to make the mince pies:
1. Lightly grease mini-muffin tins. On a lightly floured surface roll out the pastry to about 1/4 inch thickness then stamp out equal numbers of 6cm (1 7/8 inch) and 7cm (2 1/4 inch) circles. Roll up the scraps, knead lightly, and then roll out again.
2. Use the larger circles to line the cups of the tins. Place a heaped tsp of mincemeat in each cup, cover with the smaller disc and lightly press together. Make a small hole in the centre of each lid for the steam.
3. Chill for 30 minutes before baking.
4. Heat oven to 220℃/425℉ and place a baking sheet in the oven to heat up (this added heat helps to more effectively cook the pastry base).
5. Place mince pie tin on the hot baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 180℃/350℉ and bake another 10 minutes, until golden brown. Brush tops lightly with milk, dust with caster sugar, and then return to the oven for about 1 minute.
6. Cool in the tins for 5 minutes, and then remove.
7. Serve mince pies warm or cold or freeze for up to 3 months then warm through in the oven. Delicious with some brandy butter.
Recipe from BBC Goodfood Magazine
Mini Mincemeat Pies
225g mincemeat (recipe below)
225g (2 cups) plain flour
100g (4oz) butter , chilled and cubed roughly
3 tbsp light muscovado sugar (light brown sugar)
orange, grated zest and juice
1. To make the pastry put flour into a large bowl and rub in the chilled butter using your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and zest.
2. Add approximately 4 Tbs of the orange juice to the pastry mix to make a fairly soft dough, kneading gently until smooth. Wrap in cling film and chill for 30 mins.
3. Lightly flour a surface and roll out the pastry to a 3mm thickness. Using a fluted cutter, stamp out 12 circles of pastry to fit into your tart pan. Gently press these into the tartlet tins so that the pastry just protrudes above the tins to allow for shrinkage when cooked. Spoon the mincemeat into the pastry cases being careful not to overfill.
4. Roll out remaining dough and stamp small round circles. Top each mincemeat pie with a circle of dough.
5. When you’re ready to bake the mince pies, heat the oven to 200C/400℉. Bake the mince pies for 20 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Cool on a wire rack and serve.
Recipe slightly adapted from BBC Goodfood Magazine
2 cooking apples
450g (1lb) beef suet or butter, chilled and grated
110g (4oz) mixed peel
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
225g (8oz) currants
450g (1lb) raisins
225g (8oz) sultanas
900g (2lbs) dark brown sugar
60ml (2 1/2fl ozs) Irish whiskey
1. Core and bake the whole apples in a moderate oven, 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4, for 45 minutes approx. Allow to cool. When they are soft, remove the skin and mash the flesh into pulp.
2. Grate the rind from the lemons on the finest part of a stainless steel grater and squeeze out the juice. Add the other ingredients one by one, and as they are added, mix everything thoroughly.
3. Put into sterilized jars, cover and leave to mature for 2 weeks before using. This mincemeat will keep for a year in a cool place.
Makes 3.2 kilos (7 lbs)
Recipe from Darina Allen’s Ballymaloe Cookery Course Cookbook
Note: I made one fourth of the recipe and used it right away. One quarter of the recipe makes enough for 3 dozen mini pies. Here are the quantities:
4 oz butter
1/2 cup currants
1/4 cup mixed peel
1/2 cup sultanas
1/2 Tbs marmalade
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup raisins
Ready to get moving? This song is so much fun.
Here is a translation of one of the verses that I love:
You’re so very cold
A polar bear in a bus
I’m inspired by the worst
To enrich myself
And I love truly that you make me hallucinate”
I love the musical action at 2:15.
Malajube was nominated in the category Best Reason To Learn French in The Bucky Awards (CBC Radio 3) Long List. Cool, huh? They didn’t win, but I think it says a lot about how good their songs are. My High School French is barely passable, but if the lyrics to Malajube’s songs are as cool (cool…haha!) as Montreal -40C, I may have to brush up.
Check out Malajube on their Website and buy the band’s music there.