Mince Pies

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By Darren Purchese

My record in a year is 16,000 – that’s made not eaten, cheeky! That was at the Savoy Hotel in London and made around 120 a day from August to ensure I had enough for the onslaught! I’ve done my best to scale down my recipe for you though. I love a mince pie at Christmas and hope you do to!

Make the mix in October and leave to macerate until you need it. You could make your mince pies the day before you need and bake them on the day, or you could make a heap and freeze them uncooked. They will last for a couple of months covered in the freezer uncooked. You can bake from frozen but increase the cooking time to around 28-30 minutes.

Try to use beautiful organic local dried fruit and the best quality alcohol you can. If you can’t find muscovado sugar, then you can substitute for light brown sugar.

I use 6 cm diameter tin foil tart tins which work great and allow me to freeze tarts uncooked in the tin ready for baking.

Time

1

hour

0

minutes

Degree of Difficulty

Medium

Save

1

Portions

24
servings

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Ingredients

Servings

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ORANGE SWEET PASTRY

480g unsalted butter
1 whole vanilla pod, seeds scraped
1 orange, fine zest
10g salt
300g icing sugar, sieved
165g eggs, (approx. 3 large eggs)
20g egg yolk (approx. 1 large egg)
800g plain flour
100g ground almonds

APPLE COMPOTE

300 ml apple juice
100g jam setting sugar
3 whole apples, peeled and flesh cut into 1/2 cm dice

FRUIT FILLING

180g currants
220g raisins
200g sultanas
100g candied mixed citrus peel, chopped
100g glace ginger, chopped into 1/2 cm dice
100 ml Brandy
100 ml Rum
100 ml Pedro Ximenez
200g apple compote
60g muscovado sugar
80g flaked almonds
40g walnuts, chopped
2 whole orange juice and zest
1tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp ground allspice

EGG WASH

60g egg yolks, (approx. 3 large eggs)
2tbsp cream, thickened
1 pinch salt
 raw sugar to sprinkle
1

For the pastry… add the butter, vanilla seeds, orange zest, salt and icing sugar into the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Attach the paddle and turn the machine to a low speed. Cream until pale and smooth and remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula to ensure it is evenly mixed. Continue to mix and add the eggs and yolk one at a time until all are in. Scrape down the sides again with a spatula. Add the flour and almonds and mix until the pastry just comes together, finish the kneading by hand on a lightly floured bench.

 

2

To rest the dough… divide the dough into two pieces and flatten them down. Wrap them both in cling film and rest in the fridge for an hour.

 

3

For the apple compote… add the sugar to a medium saucepan with the apple juice and boil the apple syrup over a medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook for two minutes and add the diced apple. Cook until the apples are just softening, stirring regularly. Remove from the heat.

 

4

For the filling… put the currants, raisins, sultanas, candied mixed peel and glace ginger into a clean plastic container that has a lid. Mix the ingredients well and pour over the brandy, rum and Pedro Ximenez. Mix again and cover with the lid, leave at room temperature for a week (or up to a month). Mix the fruit every day to make sure the fruit soaks evenly. When you are ready add the remaining ingredients to the container and mix well. Again leave, covered, at room temp for a minimum of a week, mixing every day.

 

5

Preheat an oven… to 180°C and lightly spray grease your tart tins.

 

6

To roll the pastry… remove the pastry from the fridge and lightly flour a work surface, roll one of the pastry doughs with a rolling pin to a thickness of 3 mm and cut out 85 mm diameter discs for the base and 75 mm discs for the lids. Re roll the pastry if needed to get 24 lids and 24 bases. Any excess pastry can be wrapped in cling film and frozen for later use. Rest the discs in the fridge for 20 minutes.

 

7

Make the tarts… push the larger size pastry discs into each pie mould using your fingers to push the pastry to the edges of the tin. Spoon the mince pie mix into each lined tart; make sure each tart is filled up. Any excess mix can be stored in the fridge to make more pies later on. Take the smaller discs of pastry to lid the pies, place one on top of each and use your thumb and forefinger to pinch it to the base. Use a small knife to trim any excess pastry off and discard.

 

8

Store in the freezer… you can now store these in your freezer unbaked for up to a couple of months or proceed to step 9.

 

9

Make the egg wash… by mixing 2 tablespoons of cream, a pinch of sugar and a pinch of salt with 3 egg yolks. Brush some of the egg wash onto each tart and sprinkle each one with some raw sugar.

 

10

To bake the tarts… place the tarts onto an oven tray and bake them for 24 minutes until golden brown and baked. Serve with whipped Brandy orange butter.

 

1
0 hours 0 minutes

For the pastry… add the butter, vanilla seeds, orange zest, salt and icing sugar into the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Attach the paddle and turn the machine to a low speed. Cream until pale and smooth and remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula to ensure it is evenly mixed. Continue to mix and add the eggs and yolk one at a time until all are in. Scrape down the sides again with a spatula. Add the flour and almonds and mix until the pastry just comes together, finish the kneading by hand on a lightly floured bench.

2
0 hours 0 minutes

To rest the dough… divide the dough into two pieces and flatten them down. Wrap them both in cling film and rest in the fridge for an hour.

3
0 hours 0 minutes

For the apple compote… add the sugar to a medium saucepan with the apple juice and boil the apple syrup over a medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook for two minutes and add the diced apple. Cook until the apples are just softening, stirring regularly. Remove from the heat.

4
0 hours 0 minutes

For the filling… put the currants, raisins, sultanas, candied mixed peel and glace ginger into a clean plastic container that has a lid. Mix the ingredients well and pour over the brandy, rum and Pedro Ximenez. Mix again and cover with the lid, leave at room temperature for a week (or up to a month). Mix the fruit every day to make sure the fruit soaks evenly. When you are ready add the remaining ingredients to the container and mix well. Again leave, covered, at room temp for a minimum of a week, mixing every day.

5
0 hours 0 minutes

Preheat an oven… to 180°C and lightly spray grease your tart tins.

6
0 hours 0 minutes

To roll the pastry… remove the pastry from the fridge and lightly flour a work surface, roll one of the pastry doughs with a rolling pin to a thickness of 3 mm and cut out 85 mm diameter discs for the base and 75 mm discs for the lids. Re roll the pastry if needed to get 24 lids and 24 bases. Any excess pastry can be wrapped in cling film and frozen for later use. Rest the discs in the fridge for 20 minutes.

7
0 hours 0 minutes

Make the tarts… push the larger size pastry discs into each pie mould using your fingers to push the pastry to the edges of the tin. Spoon the mince pie mix into each lined tart; make sure each tart is filled up. Any excess mix can be stored in the fridge to make more pies later on. Take the smaller discs of pastry to lid the pies, place one on top of each and use your thumb and forefinger to pinch it to the base. Use a small knife to trim any excess pastry off and discard.

8
0 hours 0 minutes

Store in the freezer… you can now store these in your freezer unbaked for up to a couple of months or proceed to step 9.

9
0 hours 0 minutes

Make the egg wash… by mixing 2 tablespoons of cream, a pinch of sugar and a pinch of salt with 3 egg yolks. Brush some of the egg wash onto each tart and sprinkle each one with some raw sugar.

10
0 hours 0 minutes

To bake the tarts… place the tarts onto an oven tray and bake them for 24 minutes until golden brown and baked. Serve with whipped Brandy orange butter.