As soon as the first batch of mince pies are out of the oven I feel like Christmas has begun. And the trouble is my kids go so totally wild for them that I then have to make them almost constantly until New Year.
So this year, I teamed up with the lovely fruit and nut specialists, Whitworths, to create the best version of these ever.
Perfect party food, they look so damn pretty, but equally work as lovely presents all wrapped up in a box, and obviously warm out of the tin are the perfect kids treat after school on the chilly winter evenings. Get excited, these are fabulous.
You can definitely use a jar of decent mincemeat if you fancy, but the real game changer here is the combination of the orange scented crisp pastry along with the juiciest of fruity fillings, and all without any sugar or sticky gummy nastiness.
Do give them a go, and you’ll be making them a lot.
- 1 Orange zest and juice
- 1 Apple
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- Pinch nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground allspice
- 3 tbsp flaked almonds
- 150g raisins
- 100g currants
- 80g dried apricots
- 50g cranberries
- (2 tbsp brandy optional)Pastry
- 75g Buckwheat flour
- 75g Rice Flour
- 75g ground almonds
- 125g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 1 Orange zest and juice
- Pinch sea salt
- 1 egg (use milk if allergies)
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar
Makes 24-30 mini pies
For the mincemeat, tip the dried fruits into a bowl and add the orange zest, then grate the apple into it, without peeling, it will be in juicy clumps. Stir through the flaked almonds and spices thoroughly, cover and leave to sit for 12 hours.
Pour the flours, almonds, salt and cubed butter into a food processor and mix until it looks crumbly. Add the zest and gradually pour in the orange juice, just until the pastry sticks, stop even if you haven’t used all of it up. Remove from the processor and wrap in two balls of cling film and put in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to firm up.
Remove the first batch of pastry from the freezer and put the other one in the fridge. Roll between cling film, or baking parchment as the pastry can be delicate, until 4mm thick. Using a 2inch cookie cutter stamp out rounds and place in mini cupcake cases in a mini muffin baking tin. And mini stars/hearts or whatever you have to hand for the tops. Fill with a heaped tsp of the mincemeat and then place a star, heart or other shape of pastry on top. Repeat.
Brush the lids gently with the beaten egg, and sprinkle a tiny pinch of coconut sugar over them before placing in the oven
Cook at 170 for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.