Ultimate Mince Pies With Homemade Mincemeat

Key Details

  • Serves: 12
  • Prep time: 2 hours
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Ingredients

  • 200g currants
  • 200g raisins
  • 200g sultanas
  • 200g dried cranberries
  • 2 lemons, zest & juice
  • 2 clementines, zest & juice
  • 6 tbsp port or brandy
  • 100g mixed peel
  • 2 large Bramley apples, cored and grated (no need to peel them)
  • 50g whole blanched almonds, roughly chopped
  • 300g shredded suet
  • 300g light muscovado sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 375g shortcrust pastry
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • unsalted butter, for greasing

Method

To make the mincemeat, soak the raisins, sultanas, currants and cranberries in the brandy/port, clementine and lemon (juice and zest) for 1 hour until plumped up, then drain and KEEPING THE BRANDY JUICE ASIDE.

Mix all the ingredients together in the order given, then pour back in the brandy juice when everything else is well mixed.

Spoon and press into sterilised jars and cover and leave for as long as you can to let the flavours mature. These are going to taste GREAT on Christmas Day (and the mix will keep in the fridge for up to 6 months).

You’ve done all the hard work with the mince meat, so let’s make it easy with the shortcrust…

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4, and lightly grease a shallow cupcake tray with butter.

Roll out half the pre-made pastry on a clean flour-dusted surface to 3mm thick, then cut out 12 circles using a pastry cutter or a clean glass tumbler. Lay them in the hollows of the tray and place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.

Roll out the remaining pastry to the same thickness and cut into shapes to decorate the tops of your pies (stars and tree-shapes work well).

Take the pastry bases out of the fridge and fill them just over halfway up with mincemeat, then smooth the filling out to the edges. Top each pie with a cut-out shape, then brush once more with the eggwash.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden. Dust with icing sugar before serving, then dig in.

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