Anolon Academy

Mince Pies

By Rebecca Sullivan

This mince has been in my family for a century, and is my great-grandmother Lilly’s recipe. I love making it a year before Christmas and not only using it in my pies but also swirling it through creamy vanilla ice cream or packing it into Granny Smith apples and baking them in the oven.

Your muffin tins are the best tool to use to make these pies.

Ingredients

  • 400 g (2 ¼ cups) raisins
  • 400 g (2 ¼ cups) dried muscatels
  • 200 g (1 ½ cups) dried apricots
  • 100 g (2/3 cup) candied orange rind
  • 100 g (½ cup) candied ginger
  • 4 Granny Smith apples
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 200 g (1 1/3 cups) dried riberries
  • 500 g (2 ½ cups firmly packed) soft brown sugar
  • 100 g (2/3 cup) chopped almonds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 100 ml orange liqueur such as Grand Marnier or Cointreau
  • 125 ml (½ cup) brandy

Method

Finely chop the raisins, muscatels, dried apricots, candied orange rind, candied ginger and the unpeeled apples. Combine all the ingredients except the alcohol. Transfer to a greased large baking dish, cover and set aside for a few hours.

Cover with baking paper and bake in the oven at 100ºC for 3–4 hours. Cool, stirring regularly. Once cool, stir in the alcohol and spoon the mixture into sterilised jars. Seal, label and store in a cool, dark place. Allow to mature for 6–12 months before using.

To make the pastry

Ingredients 

  • 225g cold butter, diced
  • 350g plain flour
  • 100g raw caster sugar
  • 280g mincemeat
  • 1 small egg
  • icing sugar, to dust

Method

Rub 225g cold, grated butter into the flour, then mix in the sugar and a pinch of salt. Combine the pastry into a large ball  and knead it briefly, don’t over knead. The dough will be fairly firm, like shortbread dough. You can use the dough immediately, or chill for later.

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line 18 holes of two 12-hole Anolon muffin tins. Press small walnut-sized balls of pastry into each hole covering the bottom and easing up the sides without any holes. Spoon a large heaped tablespoon mincemeat into each pie.

Take slightly smaller balls of pastry than before and pat them out between your hands to make round lids, big enough to cover the pies. You can cut out shapes such as stars instead if you like or use thin slices to make lattice. Top the pies with their lids, pressing the edges gently together to seal - you don’t need to seal them with milk or egg as they will stick on their own.

Beat the egg and brush the tops of the pies. Bake for 20 minutes until golden. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack. Once cool, lightly dust with icing sugar. They will keep for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container. Serve warm with cream, ice cream or brandy custard.

Makes 18 small pies