I never liked mince pies. They were always far too sweet and claggy for my liking. That was until I tasted my friend Lucy's about 20 years ago. Now, THOSE mince pies were a total game changer. She very generously gave me the recipe which I have pimped and adapted over the years to these. They are bloody lovely, give them a go!
MINCEMEAT (adapted from Mary Berry's recipe)
- 175g currants
- 175g raisins
- 175g sultanas
- 175g dried cranberries
- 50g mixed peel
- 50g crystalised ginger
- 1 small cooking apple
- 125g unsalted butter, cubed
- 50g blanched almonds, roughly chopped
- 225g light muscavado sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 200ml brandy, rum, sherry or Cointreau
Put everything apart from the alcohol into a large pan, heat gently for about 10 minutes until the butter is melted, stirring now and then.
Allow to cool totally and then stir in your booze of choice.
- 250g cream cheese
- 50g caster sugar
Beat together to a smooth constancy and chill.
- 500g plain flour
- 375g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
- 125g icing sugar
- Zest and juice of 1 orange
Put the flour, icing sugar, butter and orange zest into a processor and blitz until you have fine crumbs. Add the juice through the funnel and continue to blitz until it just forms a dough.
Tip out onto a floured surface and form a ball, flatten slightly into a disc and wrap in cling film. Chill for an hour or so.
Pre-heat oven to 180C
Roll out the pastry to approx 3mm thick and cut discs to fit your tin (you'll need bases and lids). You should be able to get between 30 and 36 pies.
Lightly brush your tin with a flavourless oil and line it with the pastry discs. Plop a teaspoon of mincemeat in each one, followed by a little of the cheesecake mix.
Brush the edges of the bases with beaten egg and top your pies with the remaining discs, sealing them as you go. Brush the tops with beaten egg. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes until they are golden. Gently remove from the tin as soon as you get them out of the oven or they tend to stick.
If you can resist them, allow them to cool until the centres aren't volcanic, dust with icing sugar.
They freeze really well!