I must admit, mince pies are most probably the part of Christmas I most look forward to. As soon as they’re in the supermarket I do a silent happy dance and literally have to refrain from buying 16 boxes, in October. Although supermarket mince pies are pretty delicious, you’ll get areal satisfaction out of making your own with our mince pie recipe, and bonus points if you’ve got mulled wine on the go too!
*Top tip – the mincemeat will keep for up to a year in a sterilised jars so make sure to store the leftovers to reuse for next Christmas.
For the mincemeat:
2 large Bramley apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
200g pot mixed candied peel
Juice and zest of 1 orange
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
450g dark muscovado sugar
1 ½ tsp ground mixed spice
100ml Armagnac or brandy
200g pack beef or vegetable suet
For the pastry:
350g plain flour
Pinch of salt
A little milk
*Ready-rolled puff pastry works just as well!
1.Pop everything apart from the suet into a mixing bowl and mix well with your hands then leave for at least 2 hours or overnight.
2. Add the suet, mix and then it’s time to make your pies.
3. Start by pre-setting your oven to 200°C.
4. In a separate mixing bowl, sift the flour and salt then rub in your butter and lard until it looks like fine crumbs.
5. Next, add enough cold water to mix to a dough until the bowl is clean. Put the pastry in a polythene bag and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
6. Once your pastry is nice and cold, roll out half of it as thinly as you can then cut it into two dozen 3 inch rounds.
7. Do the same with the remaining half of the pastry, but use a 2½ inch cutter this time.
8. Grease your patty tins and pop the larger rounds inside then fill each one with your mincemeat. Dampen with water the edges of the smaller rounds and press them on top of your mincemeat to form a lid.
9. Once you’ve sealed the edges with your fingers (or a fork), brush them all with milk and make three snips with a pair of scissors.
10. Bake near the top of the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.