Recipe test mince pies? Yes please, I absolutely love mince pies!
Although I grew up in America I had an English mother so mince pies were always a part of our Christmas. They along with Christmas cake, to me, are Christmas.
Nowadays mince pies seem to available in stores for most of the year but I am a firm believer in Seasons and seasonal eating. I do not want to have a mince pie until it is Winter and Christmas is truly upon us (then I may have trouble from stopping having them, but that’s another tale!)
I am so happy to be testing mince pies for Vanessa Kimbell, the author of Prepped, her cook book which is due out next Spring – prepped.co.uk
Vanessa’s mincemeat is delicious and so easy to make. Along with the ingredients you may expect to see, she adds cranberries, dried cherries and vanilla. It is super fast to make, cooked in 2 steps, jarred in step 3. No wonder it’s called Instant Mincemeat!
To make the mince pies Vanessa has a frangipane topping which is something a little different and I think delicious!
The recipe is Vanessa’s and may change slightly when the book is printed
- 170 ml Brandy
- 200g soft brown sugar
- 170g dried cherries/ blueberries or mixture
- 300g Fresh Cranberries
- 200g of currants and raisins
- 30g peeled very finely grated fresh ginger
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- juice and zest of 2 medium oranges
- 1 Vanilla pod cut into 4 pieces
1. Add the sugar and brandy into a large pan and warm gently.Add the fresh cranberries and cook gently for about 3 minutes.Stir well.
2. Tip the Dried fruit, ginger, mixed spice, orange juice and zest and vanilla and stir well.Cover and simmer very gently for about 15 minutes, stirring and checking occasionally.
3. Spoon into clean jars and store in the fridge.This keeps happily for up to 2 weeks.
190g plain flour
1 pot of Mincemeat
Topping – frangipane
- 100g butter, chopped
- 100g caster sugar
- 100g ground almonds
Drop of almond essence
- 2 eggs
- 50g plain flour
- 1tsp baking powder
- 30g flaked almonds
1. To make the base. Rub the butter and flour together to make breadcrumbs. Add the sugar. Bring together with a small amount of water, added a little at a time to form dough. Press the dough into a muffin tin to make about 12 – 15 ( depending on the size of your muffin tray)
2. Make the topping. It’s not strictly the traditional way .. but it works and it’s quick. Place all the ingredients, save the flaked almonds in a mixer and mix on full for 3 minutes. When this is done the pie can be assembled.
3. To assemble the pies spoon a teaspoon of mincemeat in each pie and then a tables spoon of the frangipane topping over the mincemeat – ensuring that it covers it fully. Sprinkle the flaked almonds over the top and place in the middle shelf of the oven.
4. Bake for 115- 18 minutes until the topping has risen, firm to the touch and a beautiful golden brown. At 180C/200C/gas 5
5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tray for about 10 minutes. Transfer toa wire rack and once cooled store in an airtight tin.