The But-I-Don’t-Even-Like-Mince-Pies Mince Pies
I think I’ve said before but I’ll say it again (and a few more times no doubt) but I am not a big fan of traditional Christmas desserts and treats. I find the flavours of mince pies a little unpalatable and too seeped in clove and all spice – the festive flavours and scents that I enjoy are clementines, lemons, nuts, cinnamon and chocolate (of course!).
Now, you could make your mincemeat entirely from scratch and, believe me, I totally applaud that but we happened to have a jar in the pantry and, as usual, I definitely cannot just let things be. This year I decided I wanted to try and adapt the humble mince pie to my tastes and this meant adding to and playing with what we already had. And you know what? It only went and bloody worked. Even my baby brother, who apparently also hates mince pies, proclaimed these to be tasty so…give them a try and see what you think!
Adding these extra ingredients to a jar of premade mincemeat will make quite a lot but, lucky you, you can just pop it all back into a jar and save it for a later date if you don’t want to make oodles of pies!
Are you getting excited for Christmas yet?
A jar of mince meat
The grated rind and juice of one lemon
The grated rind and juice of one clementine
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp grated dark chocolate (the darker the better, you don’t want to really taste the chocolate, you just want the depth it’ll add)
50g dried cranberries
Orange and Cinnamon Scented Pastry
225g plain flour
110g butter (chilled)
90g caster sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
Grated rind of one clementine
You’ll want two circle cutters – one slightly larger than the other.
1. You probably want to make your pastry first because you can leave it in the fridge to chill for a bit before making your pies.
2. Rub together the butter, flour and cinnamon until it is almost like breadcrumbs. Add in the sugar, egg and clementine rind. Slowly add orange juice until you a have nice, moist dough. Knead for a couple of minutes and place in the fridge to cool.
3. Preheat your oven to 180.
4. Take a sauce pan and pop on the hob. Empty into this your mincemeat. Stir a little and let the heat break it down a bit. Add in all of your ingredients and stir until the dried cranberries are beautifully plump and bright red again. Let this all simmer for about ten minutes then take off the heat and allow to cool.
5. Grease your cupcake tin with a little butter.
6. Roll out your pastry until it’s about a centimetre thick and take the larger cutter to create the main part of your pies. Careful not to stretch the pastry once you lay it in the tin as it’ll only shrink back when cooked.
7. Spoon in a nice amount of mincemeat – not right to the top or you’ll have liquid spewing out all over the tin.
8. Make up a quick egg was by beating an egg with water and use it as a kind of glue to attach the lid of your pies.
9. Using a fork press down the rim of the lid so it’s nice and sealed then finish with a quick brush of egg wash and pop in the oven for 20/25 minutes until nice and golden brown.
Fill your flipping Christmas boots.