No Christmas is complete without a batch or two of homemade mince pies. I have fond memories of making them as a child with my mom and sister during the school holidays, and it is a tradition that has carried on through the years – only now I get to make mince pies with my kids!
The pastry recipe is from one of my faves, Nigella. It is crispy, flaky and just perfect – it’s the one I make every year. The filling is done the way my mom does it, with a bit of apple added in and a splash of brandy if you are so inclined. The combination…. utterly delicious mince pie perfection!
So get some Christmas tunes on, pop on that apron and let’s bake some scrumptious star topped mince pies!
- I used the following sizes to make 22 medium sized mince pies: 6½cm muffin tray with a depth of 2cm, a 10cm round fluted cutter and a 6cm (point to point) star cutter.
- You can use any sized pan as this recipe works well for large, medium sized and miniature sized mince pies. Simply adjust the size of your cutters and adjust the baking time accordingly.
STAR TOPPED MINCE PIES
For the pastry:
- 240g cake flour
- 60g vegetable shortening, cut into small cubes
- 60g butter, cut into small cubes
- juice of 1 orange (about 120ml)
- pinch of salt
- extra flour for dusting
For the filling:
- 450g fruit mince meat
- 2 apples
- 1 tbsp brandy (optional)
- icing sugar for dusting
1.) Place the flour in a shallow bowl or dish. Add the shortening and the butter. Toss in the flour then put the dish in the freezer for 20 minutes.
2.) Mix the orange juice and salt in a small bowl. Chill in the fridge while the flour is in the freezer.
3.) Tip the flour and butter into a food processor and blitz together until combined. Add most of the orange juice and blitz until the dough starts coming together. Add more orange juice if necessary. (If you need extra liquid add some ice water.)
4.) Tip the mixture onto your work surface and knead into a dough. Flatten the dough into a disc, wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
5.) While the dough is chilling you can prepare the filling. Tip the fruit mince into a bowl. Grate the apples (you can leave the skin on) and squeeze out the excess juice. Mix the apple into the fruit mince along with the brandy if you are using it.
6.) Preheat your oven to 220ºC. Lightly grease your tin and get your cutters ready. (See note on sizes above.)
7.) Dust your work surface lightly with flour. Take the pastry out of the fridge and roll out to a thickness of 2-3mm. You want it to be very thin! Cut out circles that are slightly bigger than your tart tin and gently press these into the tin. Add a small dollop of fruit mince to each. (Don’t overfill them or the fruit mince will bubble over edge.)
8.) Re-roll the leftover dough, cut out stars and pop these on top of the fruit mince. Bake the tray for 10-15 minutes or until the pastry is golden and cooked through. Miniature mince pies only need to bake for 8-10 minutes. Carefully transfer the hot mince pies to a cooling rack. Repeat the whole process using the remaining pastry and fruit mince.
9.) Dust the warm mince pies with icing sugar and serve.