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Monday, 10 December 2012

My Christmas Mincemeat and Christmas Mince Pies



My 12yo decided that she HAD to make some Christmas Mince Pies from scratch the other day after school.  She had been nagging for a week or more so we prepared the mincemeat on the weekend and she make the pastry fresh on the day she made the Christmas Mince Pies.  I must say that they were delicious and she did a fabulous job.  The fact that there were only 3  pies left for her to take to school to share is evidence of how good they tasted.


Slowcooker Christmas Mincemeat

Here's our recipe for Slow Cooker Christmas Mincemeat which makes about 5 x 400g jars.  I used my large slowcooker to make our Christmas Mincemeat but you could just use a large stockpot saucepan on the hob.  As long as your mixture reaches 150C then it is fine to put into jars.  Sterilise your jars in the oven for 10 - 15 minutes at 120C with the lids or simmer the lids for 5 mins in a saucepan of boiling water. 

500g apples, cored and chopped into small dice
250g shredded vegetarian suet
800g mixed dried fruit
150g candied mixed peel
350g dark soft brown sugar
zest and juice from 2 oranges and 2 lemons
4 tsp ground mixed spice
1 whole nutmeg, grated
1 tsp ground cinnamon
90ml brandy or whisky

Mix all the ingredients, except the brandy, together in a large non-metallic bowl.  Leave covered with clingfilm for 12 hours.  Pour into the slow cooker and cook on LOW for about 4 hours.  Stir the mixture every hour or so.  Check the temperature with a sugar thermometer if you have one, you need it to reach 150C.  Once it reaches this temperature turn off the slow cooker and allow the mixture to cool before stirring in the brandy and putting the mincemeat into the sterilised jars.

If you are making the mincemeat on the hob, follow the instructions above then place in a saucepan on the hob and bring slowly to the boil.  Again you need it to reach 150C or to boil for at least 5 - 10 minutes until it is thick and syrupy.  Allow to cool slightly before adding the brandy and putting the mincemeat into the serialised jars.


Quick and Easy Christmas Mincemeat (No Cook)

This recipe makes enough mincemeat for 24 normal sized Christmas Mince Pies.  If you only want to make 12 then halve the quantities given.

200g luxury mixed fruit, with added candied peel
1 Bramley apple, cored and grated
50g dark sot brown sugar
25g dried cranberries
Grated zest of 1 orange
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1½ tsp ground mixed spice
25g fresh white breadcrumbs
60ml brandy

At lest one day before you want to use the mincemeat, mix all the ingredients together in a non-metallic bowl and set aside covered with clingfilm.  Use within a couple of days.


Pastry - Version One (Food mixer version)

I use this pastry to make jam or lemon curd tarts and it is a really easy pastry to make either by hand or in a mixer.  This recipe makes 24 Christmas Mine Pies at a time so feel free to halve the quantities should you only want to make 12.

250g butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 free range eggs
4 cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powder

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat well. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt over the creamed mixture and mix until combined.  Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured board and knead well for a couple of minutes.  Wrap the dough in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 180°C.  Lightly grease a standard sized muffin. Roll the pastry out to 2-3mm thick. Cut out rounds with the appropriate sized fluted edged cutter, and gently line the muffin holes with pastry rounds.

Fill the uncooked pastry cases with Christmas mincemeat.  Cut out small stars from the pastry and use them to top the mince pies, or cut out rounds with a fluted edged cutter to make lids.  Bake in your preheated oven for 20 minutes.


Pastry - Version Two (By hand version)

This is the pastry my 12yo made when she baked her Christmas Mince Pies.  I was using the mixer for something else at the time and she wanted to make pastry by hand instead of "cheating with a machine" as she put it.  This makes enough pastry for 24 Christmas mince pies.

75g icing sugar
200g plain flour
75g butter, at room temperature
2 medium free range egg yolks
2 Tblsp cold milk

Sift the icing sugar and flour into a bowl then run the flour into it until the mixture resembles  breadcrumbs.  Mix the eggs and milk together then add it to the dry ingredients.  Mix until combined but be careful not to overwork the dough or you will end up with tough pastry.

Wrap the dough in cling film then chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.  Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut out 24 circles to line the holes of two 12 hole muffin tins that have been lightly greased. 

Preheat your oven to 180C.  Gently put the pastry into the holes of each muffin tin and fill with a couple of spoonfuls of mincemeat, not too much otherwise they will overflow when baking.  Top with stars cut from the remaining pastry that has been rerolled.

Bake in your preheated oven for 20 minutes.  You can freeze the Christmas Mince Pies for up to a month once they have been cooked, just reheat from frozen for 15 minutes at 200C.



3 comments:

  1. Great ideas, Michelle! I have pinned this for next year.

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  2. I'm going to have a go at this this week. Thanks for the letting me know if I use a slow cooker I can go straight from pot to pastry. Will also do what you suggested and buy pastry. I know my limits. I've also pinned the recipe. :-)

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  3. Let me know how you get on Chrissie. You can do straight from pot to pastry, it does make quite a bit though so make sure you;ve got plenty of pastry. You can make puff pastry squares with it too, just cut out squares of pastry, score a line 1cm in from the edge and put the mince in the middle then bake for about 15 -20 minutes. I'll be blogging some other uses for the mincemeat too if you end up with a load that needs using.

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