The mince pie is a Christmas staple. Its ingredients can be traced back to the 13th century, when returning European crusaders brought with them Middle Eastern recipes containing meats, fruits and spices.
The early mince pie was known by several names, including mutton pie, shrid pie and Christmas pie. Typically its ingredients were a mixture of minced meat, suet, a range of fruits, and spices such as cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Although the modern recipe isn’t quite like the original, the mince pie has remained a popular treat. Of course, homemade mince pies are always best.
CREATE’S FOOLPROOF MINCE RECIPE
Our development chef, Euan Peach has given us his foolproof mince pie recipe. You’ll be guaranteed to impress any lucky Christmas guests with these little delights.
7g ground cloves
400g dark brown soft sugar
100g vegetarian suet
30g sherry vinegar
12g orange blossom water
The zest and juice of 1 lemon
The zest and juice of 3 oranges
Combine all the above ingredients and leave for a ovenight in the fridge before making your mince pies. This will give you enough filling for 24 pies. If you don’t want to make this many on one go you can store the leftovers in a sterilised jar – when filled, cover with waxed discs and seal. The mincemeat will keep for ages in a cool, dark cupboard – perfect for a second batch of mince pies next weekend!
400g plain flour
7g table salt
150g icing sugar
Zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange
2 egg yolks
2 whole eggs (large)
2 vanilla pods
– Dice the butter into small cubes and then place in the freezer until completely frozen. While the butter is freezing mix the flour, sugar, salt, zests and vanilla seeds together and place in the freezer for one hour with the butter.
– Pour the cold flour mix into the processor and pulse a few time. then add the butter and blend until the butter pieces are the size grains of rice. In a separate bowl beat the eggs together and then pour the mixture into the blender and pulse again for five seconds.
– Pour mix out onto work surface and press together (do not knead)
– Wrap the pastry in cling film and leave to rest for one hour.
– Roll out the pastry to a 3mm thickness. With a round pastry cutter, cut out 12 9cm discs of pastry. Press the pastry into the muffin cups of a 12 hole pastry tin and fill each one with a good helping of the mincemeat mixture (roughly 60g), so that it reaches three-quarters of the way up the side of the pastry-lined cup.
– With a fluted pastry cutter, cut out 12 8cm in pastry circles for the lids (slightly bigger than the top of the muffin cups). Place a lid on top of each pie and gently push down. For something a little different, why not cat out some shapes to place on the top rather that a full lid.
– Bake for 20-30 minutes at 165°C (until golden brown), then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
– Dust with icing sugar and serve warm with fresh cream (or brandy butter)
Has this foolproof mince pie recipe inspired you to make your own this Christmas? Make sure you tweet your creations to @createfood before you tuck in!
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