It doesn’t feel like December until my mum has made her mince pies. Apparently some people aren’t familiar with mince pies in the States, some of my friends actually thought they had meat in them. Basically, mincemeat is a mixture of dried fruit, alcohol and spices. It smells amazing and you get to make a wish when you stir it. This is always a family thing, but I figured I would share my mum’s recipe with you. It is loosely based on a mincemeat recipe from Delia Smith’s Christmas recipe book and the pastry is store-bought, but you could make your own if you can be bothered.
Here’s what you need:
225 g Bramley apples (chopped into small pieces)
112 g vegetarian suet
400 g dried fruit (raisins, sultanas, currants)
120 g dried apricots (cut into smaller pieces)
175 g soft dark brown sugar
Grated zest and juice of 1 orange and 1 lemon
25g pecans (chopped)
2 teaspoons mixed ground spice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons brandy
Ready rolled sweet pastry
1. Combine all ingredients (apart from the brandy) in a large bowl and mix them together.
2. Cover bowl with a cloth and leave in a cool place overnight.
3. Pre-heat oven to 120 c, cover the bowl with foil and put in the oven for 3 hours.
4. Stir occasionally as the mixture cools down.
5. When cool, add the brandy and stir.
6. Store mincemeat somewhere cool if not using it immediately – it should keep for a long time.
1. Roll out pastry and using a cookie cutter cut out circles for the bases and stars for the tops.
2. Grease muffin tin and press the pastry bases to fit.
3. Add a couple of spoonfuls of mincemeat (make sure not to overfill them).
4. Cover with pastry stars.
5. Separate an egg and brush the yolk over the tops.
6. Bake in a 200 c oven for about 15 minutes or until the tops are golden.
7. Sprinkle with icing sugar.
These taste especially yummy if you eat them warm with a dollop of cream.