This is my ongoing quest to educate my American blog friends about strange and interesting British Christmas Food – please don’t run away, honestly these are good despite the name! 🙂
Okay so mince pies don’t actually have meat in them, the ‘mince’ in these is a sweet mixture made up of rasins, currants, glace cherries, dried apricot, candied peet and spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg. You can generally also add nuts such as walnuts or chopped almonds, suet and as usual in British cooking some kind of alcohol, usually either brandy or rum. Mince pies are suitable for vegetarians only if the suet is replaced by vegetable fat. Here is an excellent recipe from Delia Smith to make your own at home.
The mixture is then added into a sweet pastry pie and served with any type of cream, in my family we have them on Christmas Day after the Christmas Pudding and Christmas Dinner! I sometimes have to roll away from the table….
Here’s a recipe for the pies
Preparation time less than 30 mins
1 quantity puff pastry
1 egg, beaten with a pinch of salt
55g/2oz caster sugar
60ml/2fl oz milk
1. Heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas6.
2. Roll out the pastry until it is 2mm thick. Stamp out 24 7.5cm/3inch rounds with a pastry cutter and put in the base of 2 patty trays.
3. Fill each case with 2 tsp mincemeat and brush the edges with a little milk.
4. Stamp out 24 6cm/2½ in rounds for the lids and put on top of the mincemeat, sealing to the edges of the bases. Brush the egg wash over the pies and sprinkle with the caster sugar.
5. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until golden brown and cool or serve warm.
6. If you make them in advance, store in an air-tight tin and re-heat when needed.