Mince pies are not part of my native culture, and I didn’t like them for a long time after moving to London, but since I started making these (to keep my husband happy) I have grown to like them. I think this recipe is a really good mince pie recipe. Making the mince requires you to be somewhat organized, as you want to leave it for a few weeks, before using it for the actual pies.
225g Bramley apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped/grated
60g dried cranberries
110g mixed candied peel
4 tbsp dark rum, whiskey or brandy
25g finely chopped blanched almonds
1 large orange, finely grated zest and juice
1 lemon, finely grated zest and juice
2 tsp mixed spice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
110g shredded suet
175g dark muscovado sugar
125g butter, room temperature
50g light muscovado sugar
2 tbsp dark rum, whisky or brandy
450g plain flour
180g butter, chilled and diced
50g lard, chilled and diced
finely grated zest of 1 orange
5-6 tbsp orange juice
1. Combine all mince ingredients apart from the muscovado and suet. Cook in a saucepan over low heat for 45 – 60 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the fruit has plumped up, the apples have broken down and excess liquid has evaporated.
2. Set aside to cool, then mix in the muscovado and suet. For adults version, I also tend to add some more alcohol at this stage (3 tbsp), as the cooking has burned all alcohol off.
3. Put in sterilized jars, and mature for 3-4 weeks.
Whisk the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy, then gradually beat in the rum, and set aside in the fridge.
1. Put the flour, butter and lard, as well as a pinch of salt, into a food processor. Whizz briefly until it looks like breadcrumbs.
2. Add the orange zest and juice, and whizz again.
3. Turn onto floured surface, and knead briefly, until smooth. Wrap in cling film and chill for 15 minutes.
1. Preheat oven to 190°C / 375°F.
2. Grease the baking tins with butter. Roll the dough to about 5mm thickness. I tend to cut out circles with two glasses. The bigger one for the ‘body’ of the pies, and the smaller for the lids of the pies. Place the bigger circles in the greased baking tins, forming the bottom and sides of the pie. fill with the mince mixture, and put a teaspoon of the rum butter on top. Then place the lid over, pressing the edges together with the edges of the other dough.
3. Make few punctures with a sharp knife, and brush with beaten egg, then bake for 20 minutes.