Mince Pies Recipe

Try this traditional British recipe for mince pies at your holiday party.

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Mincemeat Pies Are Traditional Holiday SweetEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - A Greener Christmas © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Prepare the mincemeat ideally a week, or at the very least one day, ahead of making the pies to allow the flavors to develop. If the rolled pastry is too thick it won't cook quickly enough and the mincemeat will soak into it, turning it soggy — the right thickness results in a delicate, crispy pastry. These quantities should make 24 pies that will keep well for up to seven days in an airtight tin.

Ingredients

For the mincemeat:
3 oz. each golden raisins, raisins, and currants
1-1/2 oz. blanched almonds, finely chopped
1/2 firm apple, cored and coarsely grated
1/2 cup raw sugar
2 oz. candied citron, chopped
2-1/2 oz. dried cranberries
grated zest of 1 orange
grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1-1/2 oz. lard
2 fl. oz. brandy

For the pastry:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 stick butter, diced
a large pinch of salt
1 large egg yolk
1 to 2 Tbsp. hot water
2 Tbsp. milk
1 Tbsp. superfine sugar

Directions

1. Mix the mincemeat ingredients in a bowl, put in a sterilized jar, and store in the fridge. To sterilize jars and lids, wash in soapy water or a hot dishwasher cycle. Drain until nearly dry. Place upside down in a cold oven. Heat for 10–15 minutes at 300 degrees F. Keep upturned on a clean cloth until ready to use so dust or dirt can't contaminate the produce. For the pastry, mix flour, butter and salt in a bowl. Add the egg and water. Form a dough.

2. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Chill for 10 minutes in the fridge, then roll it out to 1/16-inch thick and cut 24 discs with a cutter.

3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Press each disc gently into the individual bases of a bun or pie tray. Fill each pastry case with a teaspoon of the mincemeat.

4. Top the pies with pretty shapes cut from the remaining pastry dough. Brush each with a little milk, sprinkle with superfine sugar, and bake for 18–20 minutes or until golden.

Excerpted from A Greener Christmas

© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2008

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