24 Dec 2020


Love love love this time of the year when everyone makes that extra special effort and all the lovely warm aromatic spices come out to play, I love to make my christmas mincemeat a few months before I am going to need it so that the warm brandy and mixed spiced oranges can work their christmas magic in creating the most sumptuous rich decadent boozy brandy orange spiced mince pies.

Glorious Old Fashioned Mince Pies


Old fashioned short crust flakey pastry
 450g plain flour
110g cold lard diced
100g cold butter grated
180ml ice cold water
1 lrg pinch of salt
1 beaten egg wash
100g light brown sugar

The Boozy Mincemeat
5 kilner or glass storage jars
1ltr lady or earl grey tea
500g currants
500g raisins
500g sultanas
400g suet
1/2 bottle of good brandy
100ml orange liqueur 
250g citrus peel
2 oranges zest and juice
500g soft dark brown sugar
2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground ginger

In a large bowl add the currants, sultanas, raisins, citrus peel, orange zest, juice, mixed spice, ginger, and the hot tea, mix well, cover and leave over night if you can for the fruit to absorb all the liquid.  Next add the fruit mix to a large saucepan along with any liquid that is left in the bottom of the bowl, add approximately a third of the bottle of brandy, orange liqueur and the sugar, bring to a bubbling simmer and reduce until you have a thick syrupy glaze, when you can drag your wooden spoon through the fruit and you can momentarily see the bottom of the pan it is reduced enough, remove from the heat and add a generous glug of brandy and the orange liqueur, stir in and leave to one side to cool down slightly.

Once your fruit mix is only just warm, add the suet and stir in, then heat your oven to 200 degrees, pop your sterilised (basically super clean and dry) jars and lids into the oven for 5-7 minutes to sterlize, remove your jars from the oven and fill with your gorgeous boozey orange mincemeat pie filling, I like to finish off the filled jar with another wallop of brandy or flavoured liqueur at this point, seal the lids and leave to mature for a couple of weeks or months, these make great christmas gifts and awesome mince pies for friends and family.

To make this great pastry place the flour and salt in a large bowl, add the cold grated butter and cut through with a knife, add the cold cubed lard and roughly rub into the flour, you don't want a breadcrumb texture you want large rough chunks of lard as this will melt during baking creating lovely airy flakey pockets.  Add the water and bring together to loosely form a ball, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for half an hour before using.

Roll out the pastry and using a scone cutter cut out all your circles then either place a generous spoonful of your gorgeous mincemeat in the centre of the circle, egg wash the sides and then pop another circle on top and gently push the edges together, these are old fashioned flying saucer mince pies, alternatively you can line a muffin tin and make mini mince pies, why not get creative by cutting out a star or heart from the top of the pastry lid.   

Egg wash the tops, sprinkle with light brown sugar and bake at 200 degrees for around 15 minutes, then share with friends, family and neighbours.

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