I never used to be a fan of mince pies but the last few years has seen me develop a bit of a taste for them I have to say! Especially served hot with lashings of cream, or brandy butter, or both!
One of our advent activities this year was to make our own, something I've done before but hadn't yet with the twins. It was fun, and stressful. And messy - of course! But we're rather proud of our creations ;)
I combined and adapted two recipes to create these so scroll down for my version of the recipe if you fancy re-creating these yourself - the orange pastry is delish and SUPER easy! ;)
Pear & Ginger Mincemeat (adapted from Tesco Magazine):
125g unsalted butter
200g light muscovado sugar
500g dried mixed fruit
150g crystallised stem ginger, finely chopped
50g dried cranberries
2 ripe, firm pears, peeled cored and chopped
1 orange, zested and juiced
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
250ml PX sherry
Orange Pastry (adapted from The Hairy Bikers' 12 Days of Christmas book)
450g plain flour (plus extra for dusting)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
120g cold unsalted butter (plus extra to grease the tins)
zest of 2 oranges
140mls orange juice
Make the mincemeat in advance.
Put all ingredients except the sherry in a large saucepan and heat gently until the butter and sugar have melted. Simmer over a low heat, stirring occasionally for 10 mins. Remove from heat and let cool then stir through the sherry and spoon into sterilised jars. Store in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months. Once open it keeps in the fridge for a week.
To make the pastry, put the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and butter into a food processor and blitz until you have a crumb-like texture. Add the orange zest and process while gradually adding the orange juice until the pastry forms a ball. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge.
Pre-heat the oven to 190oC and grease the tins. Roll out 2/3 of the pastry and cut large rounds for the bottom of the pies. Place into the tins, pushing into the edges. Add a dollop of mincemeat to each, being careful not to overfill as they will spill over when bubbling in the oven and can burn easily. Then roll out the rest of the pastry and cut out shapes for the top. We used a snowman, holly, stars and snowflakes. If you haven't left space at the edges, cut a steam hole in the top.
Bake for around 15 minutes until golden brown. Sprinkle with icing sugar to finish.
Do you like baking with your kids? How much mess do they make??? Tell me this is normal, lol.