Magical mince pies

The mince pie, a traditional Christmas treat, is a little gem well worth mastering. If you’re new to this age old Victorian festive food, don’t worry, it’s not real mince (although that is where the name originates). These are filled with spicy, fruity goodness and served with ice cream or custard and make for a hearty festive dessert. Mince pie magic, this way.

mince-pies-final

Ingredients (makes 12–18):

120g butter
300g flour
50g ground almonds
Pinch of cinnamon
Zest of 2 oranges, plus juice of about half an orange
2 tsp sugar
1 free range egg
1 jar fruit mince meat

Mince-pies-counter

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. Rub the butter into the flour. Add the ground almonds, cinnamon, orange zest and sugar. Add the egg and the orange juice – a few tablespoons at a time – and bring together to form a soft dough. Be careful not to over knead.
3. Cover with cling film and allow to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
4. Roll out the dough to about 4mm in thickness. Using a cookie cutter, cut into rounds that will fit into a muffin tin. Press each round into the tin.

mince-pie-baking-tray

5. Cut smaller rounds or stars for the tops.

stamping-mince-pies

6. Place a teaspoon of mincemeat into each pastry cup, top with lid (round or star). To jazz up your store bought fruit mince meat you can add lemon and orange zest or a splash of brandy.
7. Brush the lids with a little milk. Place in the oven and cook for 20–25 minutes until golden brown and bubbling.
8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving with ice cream or cream.

Mince-pies-top

We hope you enjoy these zesty, golden cups of goodness. If there are leftovers and you don’t feel like a second serving, you could always put them to good use in some mince pie ice cream.

With thanks to Jules Mercer for her beautiful recipes and styling.