Whoa. We have been baking up a storm in all this Harry Potter excitement! Today, we’ve got mince pies, which are a British Christmas thing, but they’re also really good in July!
Mince Pies are a sweet mixture of raisins and other dried fruits, but traditionally have some pretty nasty animal products in them that I won’t mention here.
I based the recipe for the filling on Alton Brown’s Mincemeat Pie recipe and the crust was based on a recipe from The Joy of Baking for shortcrust. I don’t think mincemeat traditionally has cinnamon, but I don’t especially like clove or allspice, so I just used cinnamon and nutmeg.
I’m really happy with the way these came out! I hope you enjoy!
Just a heads up. You’ll need to make this at least one day in advance.
2 small apples (peeled, cored, and sliced into thick slices)
1 1/4 cups raisins
1/2 cup sugar
3 dried figs
1/3 cup dried cherries
2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
1/4 cup brandy + a few tablespoons more if the mixture seems dry (you can sub apple juice or apple cider)
zest of 1 orange
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until everything is finely chopped. You don’t want it to be a paste, but all the fruits should be the same size and the mixture should be moist and hold together a bit. If it seems to try add a few tablespoons more of brandy or apple juice. Put in a covered container and refrigerate overnight or for three days, though it will probably last longer.
This crust worked out really well for me, but any crust would be good with this, so use your favorite if you have one.
1 1/3 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tablespoon sugar
4 tablespoons non hydrogenated vegetable shortening
4 tablespoons non hydrogenated margarine
About 1/4 cup of ice water
Combine flour, salt and sugar in a bowl or food processor. Add the margarine and shortening in small pieces and combine with a pastry cutter or fork or blend in the food processor until it resembles a course meal. Add the water by the tablespoon and combine until the dough comes together in a ball or can be easily pressed together. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for half an hour.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Take the dough out of the refrigerator, unwrap and place onto a piece of parchment paper on a counter top (or lightly flour the counter). Place another piece of parchment onto the top of the crust and roll out the dough until it is approximately 1/8 inch thick.
Using a 4 inch biscuit cutter or something of a similar size (I used the round lid from a tub of raisins), cut out circles of dough and reroll the scraps a few times to get 9 circles. Cut out small stars from the remaining dough to place on top of the pies. Fit each circle of dough into the cup of a regular sized muffin tin.
After you’ve placed the crust into 9 tins, fill each with mincemeat filling up to the very top of the crust. Place a star on top of each pie and sprinkle lightly with sugar.
Place the pies in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the filling is bubbling and the crust is golden brown. When they are done, allow them to cool to room temperature before attempting to remove them from the pan. ENJOY!