Written by Lydia in Cakes + Treats

There is nothing we like better at Christmas, than Mum’s warm mince pies, fresh from the oven and dusted in icing sugar.  Our Mum’s mince pies have always been good ever since we were little, but she now says she has found the perfect recipe for both pastry and mincemeat which combined make the ultimate mince pie and we wholeheartedly agree.  So dear reader, we would like to share our love of these pies with you with the perfect recipe for these beauties.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

Mincemeat (makes 3 x 450g (lb) jars):

175g currants
175g raisins
175g sultanas
85g ready to eat apricots, snipped into raisin sized pieces
85g glace cherries, cut into quarters
50g dried cranberries
50g flaked, toasted almonds
1 large dessert apple, peeled and cut into raisin sized pieces
110g butter, cubed
225g light soft brown sugar
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
200ml brandy

Pastry (makes enough for 36 pies): 

500g sifted plain flour
165g caster sugar
90g ground almonds
Zest of 1 lemon
3 tbsp rum
3 eggs
390g butter

Method

  1. The mincemeat can be made up to 6 months ahead if you wish to be super organised.  To make the mincemeat, measure all the ingredients except the brandy into a large saucepan.
  2. Heat gently on the hob until the butter has melted.  Leave to simmer gently on a low heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Let the mincemeat cool, then stir in the brandy and spoon into sterilised jars.  Seal tightly and label with the contents and date.  Keep in a cool place. The butter makes the mincemeat look cloudy on cooling but don’t worry this will disappear when it is heated or cooked in the mince pie.
  4. To make the pastry, mix the flour with the sugar, the ground almonds and grated zest of a lemon in a bowl.
  5. Make a well in the centre and add the rum, one whole egg and two egg yolks and diced, softened butter.  Work into the flour as briefly as you can to give a soft dough and chill thoroughly before rolling out.  Meanwhile, lightly grease a shallow cupcake tray (or trays) with butter.
  6. Roll out your pastry to about 3mm thick and cut out 36 circles using a pastry cutter. Lay them in the hollows of your trays and place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.  Roll out the remaining pastry to the same thickness, then using a smaller cutter or a star cutter as our Mum likes to use, cut out another 36 shapes – these will be the lids for your pies.
  7. Fill your pastry bottoms with about a tsp of mincemeat (dependent on how deep/large your pies are) and then place the lids on top.  Wash with pies with an eggwash.
  8. Bake at 180C fan/200C for about 15 minutes until golden brown.
  9. When cool or just warm, dust with icing sugar.
  10. The pies will freeze well once cooked, just pop them back in a warm oven to heat through before eating.

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