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Mince Pies

December 20, 2016

 There's nothing that screams Christmas more than deliciously sweet Mince Pies! I must admit, for years I went the easy route of popping into Woolies & grabbing myself a box, but after making this simple yet tasty version I haven't looked back!


The great thing about making your own is that you can choose the dried fruit that you prefer- I opted for cranberries, raisins and dried apricots! Next time I think I'll add some goji berries for antioxidant kick!




360g dried mixed fruit 
200g brown sugar
40g slivered almonds
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and coarsely grated
40g butter, melted
2 Tbs brandy
3 tsp grated lemon rind
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground allspice
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 egg, lightly whisked
Icing sugar, for dusting

For the pastry

300 flour
80g caster sugar
160g butter, cubed and chilled
1 egg yolk
2 Tbs iced water

1. Finely chop half the mixed fruit. Place in a large bowl. Add the brown sugar, almonds, apple, butter, brandy, lemon rind, lemon juice, cinnamon, mixed spice, nutmeg, cardamom and the remaining mixed fruit. Stir until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside overnight, stirring occasionally to macerate.
2. Transfer the fruit mixture to a fine sieve over a bowl and stir to remove excess liquid.
3. To make the pastry, place the flour, sugar and butter in the bowl of a food processor and process until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and water, and process until the mixture just starts to come together. Turn onto a clean work surface. Shape into a flat-ish ball and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes to rest.
4. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface until 5mm thick. Use an 8.5cm-diameter round pastry cutter to cut 20 discs from the pastry. Use a 5cm-diameter star-shaped pastry cutter to cut 20 stars from the remaining pastry.
5. Line twenty holes of cupcake/ small muffin tray pans with pastry discs. Gently press the disks into the wholes to make a cup like shape. Divide the fruit mince among the pastry cases. Top with pastry stars. Brush the stars lightly with the egg and sprinkle with white sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until light golden. Set aside in the pans for 5 minutes to cool before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.



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