Christmas Mince Pies, or 'Post Christmas Snacks'

Friday, December 30, 2011

So, Christmas came and went and we had a fabulous time in Ye Olde Faringdon. There was turkey and roast potatoes and vegetables, trifle and Yule Log and Christmas treats aplenty. But, like most people, it seems, I had a severe case of Christmas Treat Withdrawal when we got back home.

So I made these: Christmas Mince Pies.

We made mince pie filling up in Faringdon, so I came home with a jar of ready-made mince pie deliciousness all ready to bake into pies. I used ready-made shortcrust pastry (oh the horrors, I know!) and figured I was half-way there with the home-madeness and nobody would notice because of the sheer delectable tastiness of the filling.

The pies turned out rather well, I cut out scalloped circles that were larger than the shallow muffin tin, and filled each one with mince pie filling. I topped it with a sugared pastry cut-out (those are snowflakes, don't you know) and baked for 15 minutes until lightly golden.

I used my newly-acquired snowflake cutter set which I got in the Lakeland sale, aren't they pretty? The biggest cutter is about 20cm wide - who has cookies that big? I think they'd be rather nice with a cut-out middle, but all the pointy bits could come off so you'd have to be extra careful. I'm sure I'll find a use for it... even if I have to make enormous shortbread snowflakes, or chocolate-dipped wintery cookies.

Here's Granny's Mince Pie Filling Recipe:

4oz suet (beef, or vegetarian)
8 oz raisins
8 oz currants
6 oz sultanas
6 oz apple, peeled and cored
4oz mixed peel
8 oz soft brown sugar
2 oz almonds, blanched
Juice and grated rind of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4oz brandy or rum

Using coarse screen on your mincer, mice suet, raisins, currants, sultanas, apple, peel, nuts into bowl. Add other ingredients and mix well on a low speed. Once mixed, pot or use as required.

We potted the mince pie filling into sterilised jars which can last up to a year - if you manage to stay out of it that long! The alcohol preserves all of the ingredients rather well, and the resulting mince pie filling is sweet and really delicious. I'd definitely make this again next year with a double dollop of orange and lemon rind for extra tang.

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