Luxurious mincemeat held inside a melt in your mouth shortcrust pastry, a much loved Christmas treat that goes perfectly with vanilla ice cream or custard. Making your own mincemeat from scratch really does bring home that Christmas spirit as well as allowing you to create a filling that I promise is 10 times better than any store bought version.

Preparation time: 7 Days  Total Cooking Time: 18 -20 minutes   Makes: 12 
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Ingredients

For the Mincemeat

  • 75 g Vegetable Suet, Chopped into 3 mm cubes
  • 125 g Currents, Chopped roughly
  • 200 g Sultanas, Chopped roughly
  • 125 g Raisins, Chopped roughly
  • 1 Apple, Peeled and chopped into 3 mm cubes
  • 40 g Dark Muscovado sugar
  • 60 g Light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tsp. Five spice powder
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • Juice of 1/2 Lemon
  • Juice and Zest of 1 Small orange
  • 20 ml  High quality Rum
  • 20 ml High quality Bourbon whiskey or Brandy

For shortcrust pastry 

  • 400 g Soft white flower
  • Pinch of salt
  • 200 g Beurre Lescure Unsalted Butter
  • 4 -8 Tablespoons of Cold water
  • Caster Sugar to sprnkle
  • Icing Sugar to finish

Tips and Tricks:  The quality of your butter for the pastry is very important as good quality will allow you to have a rich crumbly pastry without it being sickly. You can use whichever dark spirit you fancy to be totally honest when making your mincemeat, just make sure it is not to sharp and has a bit of sweetness to it to contrast with the orange and lemon juice. 

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Method
  1. Mix all the ingredients together for the mincemeat, wrap well with clingfilm or store in jars. Leave to marinate for a minimum of 7 days.
  2. For the pastry, sieve the flower and salt into a large bowl.
  3. Rub in the butter until a sandy texture is reached, make a well in the centre.
  4. Add sufficient water as so a solid ball of paste can be formed that barely holds itself together, handling as little and as gently as possible when incorporating the flower.
  5. Split the ball in two, wrap in clingfilm and allow to cool for 30 minutes
  6.  Roll the pastry out to 2 – 3 cm in thickness and using a 10 cm pastry ring cut out 12 bases, dust the exterior face with flower and line the muffin tray.
  7. Spoon Approx. 1 1/2 Tbsp. of the mincemeat mixture into the pastry lined muffin tin, Pre heat the oven to 200 °C (Fan) or 220 °C, Gas mark 7 
  8. Re roll the scraps to 2 -3 cm in thickness and using a 7 cm pastry ring cut out 12 lids, brush the edge of each base and lid with beaten egg and press down using a crimp pattern to seal.
  9. Glaze the pies with beaten egg (Being more generous on the edges), Sprinkle the tops with Caster sugar and cut 3 slits reducing in size each time into the top of the pastry (To form a triangle shape as well as allow the steam to escape)
  10. Bake in the oven for 18 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tins then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  11. To Serve, dust with icing sugar and reheat in a medium oven until warm. Serve with Ice cream or custard.

Tips and Tricks:  You may not think it at first but achieving a great mince pie is actually quite tricky, important to note that you need to make sure you do not overfill your pies as otherwise the syrup will split your pies and not allow you to take them out. You will get better at making short crust pastry every time you do it, there is no denying it is a skill in itself, so if it doesn’t work out the first time please do try again :).

Here are some possible reasons for faults in your shortcrust pastry:

Hard:

  • Too much water
  • Too little fat
  • Fat rubbed in insufficiently
  • too much handling and rolling

Soft-crumbly:

  • Too little water
  • Too much fat

 Blistered:

  • Too little water
  • Water added unevenly
  • Fat not rubbed in evenly

Soggy:

  • Too much water
  • Too cool and oven
  • Not baked or long enough

Shrunken:

  • Too much handling and rolling
  • Pastry stretched whilst handling  
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