There really isn’t anything as delicious and comforting as a home made mince pie that’s still warm from the oven. It’s totally evocative of Christmas with the smell of all the spices, dried fruit and brandy. These mince pies are totally vegetarian and don’t use beef suet or the unethical palm oil which are in most shop bought mince meat jars and mince pies. They are easy to make, you use shop bought pastry if you can’t, like me, be bothered to make it and because the filling is so good, no one will notice. They are fun to make with kids too as they can decorate the top their way. I use a Christmas tree cookie cutter, but there are lots of different Christmas themed cookie cutters you could use.
Makes about 12 medium mince pies.
2 apples grated
40g mixed peel
50g chopped almonds
75g dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pinch cloves
1 pinch of nutmeg
25g melted butter
2 tablespoons of Brandy
700g approx. of good quality short crust pastry
1 beaten egg
Sugar for dusting
Prepare the mincemeat the day before and put in a container in the fridge over night.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
Roll out the pastry until very thin. Use a round pastry cutter to cut out circles that fit into an individual tart tin.
Gently press the rounds into the tin and spoon in the mincemeat.
Cut out a shape to put on top of each pie.
Brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Dust with icing sugar.
Lastly…. you can bake these pies and freeze them, saving time if you are entertaining at a later date. Just reheat them in the oven for about five minutes after they have thawed, making sure they are hot all the way through.