Apple, Cranberry & Sultana Mince Pies with Orange Zest Pastry

Mincemeat Ingredients

  • 225g Bramley Apples
  • 225g Golden Sultanas
  • 225g Dried Cranberries
  • 225g Raisins
  • 125g Candied Peel
  • 200g Demerara Sugar
  • 225g Vegetarian Suet
  • 1 heaped tsp Mixed Spice
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Orange, zest and juice
  • 80ml Brandy

Method

Peel, core and chop the apple into same size pieces as the dried fruit.  Chop the candied peel, if not already chopped into similar size pieces and add all the dried fruit into a large bowl.  Add the remaining ingredients, mix thoroughly, cover and leave overnight to get to know each other.

Pack the mincemeat into sterilised jars and seal.  Leave for at least 2 weeks before using, storing in a cool dark place.  Quantity makes between 5-6 jars, depending on size of jars.

Pastry

  • 250g Plain Flour
  • 150g Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 tbsp Caster Sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp Cold Water
  • Zest of 1 Orange
  • Good pinch of Salt (don’t add salt if using salted butter)

Method

By Hand – place the flour into a mixing bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.  Add the caster sugar, salt and orange zest and mix thoroughly with a butter knife.  Add the egg and a little of the water until the dough comes together in a ball.  Wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge for at least an hour to chill before using.

In a food processor – place the flour, butter, caster sugar, salt and zest into the processor and pulse until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.  Add the egg and a little of the water whilst pulsing the mixture until the dough comes together in a ball.  Wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge for at least an hour to chill before using.

If not using the pastry straight away, wrap the pastry in greasproof paper and then clingfilm and put in the freezer until needed.  Defrost overnight in the fridge before use.  Quantity of pastry makes 12 bun/fairy cake tin size mince pies.

To make the Mince Pies, preheat the oven to gas mark 5, 180 degrees Celsius – ovens vary!  Grease the tin and put to one side.  Lightly flour your worktop and roll out half of the pastry, making sure to move the pastry between each roll so as not to stick to the worktop.  Wrap the other half of the pastry in clingfilm and keep in the fridge until needed.  The pastry needs to be 3/4mm thick before cutting out 12 rounds to fit the diameter of your fairy cake tin.  Gather the off cuttings, wrap in clingfilm and put back in the fridge so that you can use it for the tops later.  Roll out some fresh pastry if you need more, until all 12 are cut out and are lining the cake tins neatly.

Spoon in the mincemeat until just to the top of the pastry shell.  Mix an egg with a pinch of salt and whisk together, use a finger to wet the edge of the pastry with the egg wash.  For the tops of the pies you can either cut a lid that will cover and seal the pie completely, or cut out stars for a more decorative look.  Once all the pies have their chosen lid, brush a little more egg wash on the pies making sure that you don’t get any on the edge of the tins, otherwise the pies may stick and not come out easily.

Put the pies back in the fridge for a further 30 mins, to rest and chill completely.  Glaze the pies once more before being baked in the oven for 25-30 minutes.  Once golden and brown, carefully remove the pies from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack….resisting the urge to eat them all warm and burn your mouth!

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2 responses to “Apple, Cranberry & Sultana Mince Pies with Orange Zest Pastry

  1. Hi Becca

    Just a quick question – what substitute would you recommend for brandy if at all? Really like the sound of this recipe but need to cater to everyone’s requirements/tastes.

    Thanks 🙂

    • You need some liquid, otherwise the mixture will be too dry. Rum is a good alternative to brandy, but cloudy apple juice or cranberry juice would also work well and is more kiddy friendly. Hope that helps! B x

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