Mince Pies – Carrot and Cranberry

Mince pies

This is hands down the BEST mince pies that I have ever come across. The credit for this divine mincemeat is due to the wonderful Beth Chellingworth of Sweet Thursday.  Every time I make these I am inundated with requests for the recipe. I promise you your hard work will pay off. You might find it helps to make the mincemeat, frangipane and pastry in stages – and if you are like me, with  a large glass of wine in one hand!

So here we go – whack on the christmas music, get your pastry fingers ready and ingredients out. It’s time to have fun in the kitchen!

Ingredients:

Mincemeat

150g Grated Carrot – easiest to do this in your food processor

150ml Orange juice – juice of approx. 3 oranges

125g Sultanas

125g Currants

125g Soft brown sugar

100g Cranberries

70ml Rum/ Almond liquor – Optional for adults

60g Butter

70g Mixed peel – optional

1/2 tbs Orange zest – zest 2 oranges

1 1/4 tsp Mixed spice

3/4 tsp Cinnamon – ground

3/4 tsp Ginger – ground

Makes enough for approx. 60 mini mince pies

Pastry

170g  White plain flour sifted

100g Unsalted cold butter cut into cubes approx. 1cm x 1cm

1 x Cold egg yolk mixed with 1 x tbs cold water

1 tbs Caster sugar

Pinch salt

Icing sugar to serve

Makes enough for approx. 45 mini mince pies

Frangipane

200g Caster sugar

200g Ground almonds

200g Unsalted butter

50g Plain flour

Flaked almonds to decorate

2 Medium sized eggs – preferably organic

2 tbs Rum/ Almond liquor – Optional for adults

Makes approx. enough to pipe over the mince meat of 60 mini mince pies

Method:

Mincemeat

  • In a medium to large pan gently toast your spices: mixed spice, cinnamon and ginger
  • Add the orange juice, butter and sugar and allow to melt gently until the sugar is fully dissolved
  • Add the carrot and cook until soft – approx. 3 minutes
  • Add the dried fruit: Sultanas, currants, cranberries and mixed peel if using. Cook for approx. 10 minutes until soft
  • Add rum if using
  • Allow to cool – spoon into a bowl and cover with cling film to store

Pastry

  • Sift your flour into your food processor. Add a small pinch of salt and blitz briefly to mix
  • Add cold butter cubes and blitz until a fine crumb mixture and all the butter is fully encorporated into the flour. You can do this by hand using the tips of your fingers. Try and use a light touch as this will help keep your pastry short and flaky.
  • Tip your caster sugar into the mix and briefly blitz
  • There are 2 ways to add your egg:
    • 1). With your motor running pour in your egg mixture until it starts to ‘come together’. Turn off the motor and bring it together, gently knead into a ball and wrap in cling film and allow to ‘rest’ in the fridge for approx. 20 mins
    • 2). Tip your flour mixture into a bowl and pour over your egg mixture. Using a pallet knife or similar gently and lightly work your liquid into the flour until it starts to come together. Bring it together, gently knead into a ball and wrap in cling film and allow to ‘rest’ in the fridge for approx. 20 mins

Frangipane

  • Mix the butter until soft
  • Add the sugar until light and creamy
  • Gradually add the egg and any liquor
  • Mix in gently the ground almonds and flour
  • Spoon into a piping bag ready to use

Making The Mince Pies

  • Preheat your oven to 180°C
  • Take any frangipani mixture out of the fridge as it needs to be soft for piping
  • Roll out your pastry on a lightly floured surface until approx. 50p coin thickness – this does seem thin but remember it thickens as it cooks. Cut out your rounds to fit your mince pie tray. Personally I like the mini ones!
  • Place rounds in your trays – if you are doing more than one tray return to the fridge to ‘chill’
  • Add your mincemeat – you can either keep it nut free and cut a pastry top e.g. a star or heart or
  • Pipe frangipane mixture over the top and sprinkle with flaked almonds
  • Bake in the top third of the oven for approx. 15 minutes until lightly golden
  • Allow to cool on a wire rack
  • Sprinkle with icing sugar to serve – enjoy!

Tips: Invest in a good quality mince pie tray. Try and keep the mince meat away from the mince pie tray or it might stick. Wrap in cellophane to make a great gift!  Also once made just pop them in the freezer in a sealed container and you can warm them in the oven before you need them – an easy way to get ahead over Christmas.

Options: make nut free versions by omitting the frangipane – just cut out pastry shapes for the top of the mince pies 

Poppy making mince pies

How kids can help

  • With everything here! Just be extra careful if using a food processor to keep blades away from little fingers
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