Monday, November 23, 2015

~ Mince Pies ~

Paul made mince pies for David. 
It was an English recipe that David knew about, and which Paul experimented with since David had mentioned them to him as something he remembered from his childhood, and he ended up making several batches as the rest of the household enjoyed them as much as David did, and Paul found that he thoroughly enjoyed making mincemeat. The smell of the spices permeated the house for days, sweet with cinnamon. 
~ Keeper's Yard


Mincemeat takes 4 weeks to mature. If making this recipe from scratch please plan ahead and be prepared to start in November. 



250 g raisins
250 g sultanas
250 g currants
65 g mixed peel (chopped small if in big bits)
large cooking apple peeled and grated
125 g suet or butter
zest of 1/2 a lemon and 1/2 and orange
a pinch each of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice (more is optional if that suits your tastes)
250 g dark brown sugar
250 ml brandy or dark rum

Short Crust

360 g flour
112 g of cornflour
1 teaspoon of salt
360 unsalted butter, cold, cut up
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
100 ml cold water

Egg Wash

1 egg
1 tablespoon milk

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Jar Sterilisation
  1. Fit a large pot with a rack, or line with a folded kitchen towel. Fill 2/3 with water and bring to a boil. Add canning jars and boil for 10 minutes. 
  2. Place canning rings in a small saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. 
  1. Dissolve the sugar in the alcohol and set aside. 
  2. Chop apple, and mixed peel if necessary. 
  3. Ensure all the fruit is now approximately the same size. 
  4. Mix raisins, sultanas, currants, mixed peel, apple, butter, lemon and orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice together in a bowl 
  5. Pour the sugar/alcohol mixture over the fruit and spice mixture and combine well. 
  6. Cover and leave to stand for 24 hours, and stir again. 
  7. Place into clean, sterlised jars and seal. 
  8. Mincemeat takes about 4 weeks to mature. 
Short Crust 
  1. Sift together the flour, cornflour and salt. 
  2. Rub in the butter until it resembles fine crumbs can be done in a processor; use high speed. 
  3. Dissolve the cream of tartar in the water, and add to the crumbly mixture. Again you'll need high speed to bring the mixture together into a dough. 
  4. Turn out into a bowl if you used a processor. 
  5. The pastry should be very easy to handle. If at all necessary, add a few drops more water, but be careful. When the consistency is right, it does not stick to your hands and feels silky soft but firm. 
  6. Cover with clingfilm, and refrigerate until 15 minutes before you need it, or otherwise about 20 - 30 minutes. 
Mince Pies
  1. Preheat Oven to 180 C 
  2. Roll out between clingfilm or sprinkle flour on a granite board and roll out 1/2 the pastry to start with -- easier to control. 
  3. Cut it into rounds for jam tarts or fairy cake tins. 
  4. Cut a top round for each pie. 
  5. Gather the leftover bits together, press into a roll, and roll out again. 
  6. Use dough to line loose-bottomed small pastry tins or jam tart pan 
  7. Put a spoonful of mincemeat into the middle of each 
  8. Dampen the edge of the pastry with egg wash 
  9. Place pie top and seal the edges. 
  10. Cut a little slice in the top of each pie to release the steam out of each pie. 
  11. Brush the top of pie with more egg wash. 
  12. Bake for 15 -20 minutes.

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