For some, it's just not the holidays without mincemeat pies. Find out why!
Deliciously sweet and much loved by those who grew up with mince pies on the Christmas buffet. Each tart is filled with a thick, syrupy filling of raisins, currants, candied peel, mixed spices and a hint of brandy. Everything you would expect in a holiday treat.
These delectable tarts are quite straightforward to make, though they do take a little time if preparing from scratch. It's important to give the filling enough time for the flavours to combine, so start on the filling at least a day in advance.
Mincemeat pies can be enjoyed hot or cold, plain, sprinkled with powdered sweetener, with a dollop of ice cream, sweet cream, or even brandy butter.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, and reheat on low heat to enjoy.
TIP: Instead of making pastry from scratch, use store-bought pie dough or puff pastry dough.
(Makes 12 servings)
3/4 cups mixed candied peel, finely diced
1/2 cup vegetable shortening, frozen, grated
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried currants
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon pudding spice (a.k.a. mixed spice)
1 teaspoon lemon zest, grated
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 teaspoon orange zest, grated
juice of 1/2 an orange
1/2 Honeycrisp apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
2 tablespoons brandy
2, 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (plus extra)
1 cup plant-based butter, cold and cut into cubes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten, cold
1/8 cup powdered monk fruit sweetener (or confectioners' sugar)
Beginning the evening before making the mincemeat pies, begin preparing the filling. In a casserole dish, combine all of the mincemeat ingredients listed, except the brandy, and mix well. Cover the casserole dish with lid or clingwrap and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, 4 to 6 hours before assembling the mincemeat pies, preheat oven to 230°F / 110°C. Mix the mincemeat filling and replace the clingwrap with foil, or cover with lid, and bake for 2.5 hours.
Remove from the oven and stir well then set aside and allow to cool to room temperature, stirring often. Once cooled, stir in the brandy. If not making the mincemeat pies the same day, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a day, mixing occasionally. If refrigerated before making, remove filling from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, butter, and salt. Using a spatula, press and cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles rough sand. Stir in the cold, beaten egg then stir in cold water a teaspoon at a time until the dough holds together, but before it becomes sticky. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of clingwrap, flatten down, wrap in the clingwrap and press it into a disk. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
When ready to prepare the pies, preheat oven to 400°F / 200°C. Select a non-stick,12-cup muffin pan and set aside.
Lightly dust a flat work surface with flour. Unwrap the dough and cut off 1/3, and rewrap that 1/3 in the clingwrap and place back in the refrigerator until needed. Roll out the remaining 2/3 of dough to a thickness to 1/8-inch. Cut dough into circles that fit the cups of your selected muffin pan (need not come to the very top of the muffin cups).
Fill each muffin cup 2/3 full with the mincemeat filling and set aside.
Roll out the remaining 1/3 dough to a thickness to 1/8-inch. Cut into circles that fit the muffin cups like lids and stamp out decorative shapes, like stars, leaves, Christmas trees, etc. Use the cut out shapes to decorate some of the pies as well.
Attach the tops to the cups by lightly wetting the pastry edges with cold water. Each lid needs to have at least a small hole in the top to vent steam when baking. Bake until golden brown (about 20 minutes).
Remove from oven and let cool. Optional: Sprinkle each pie with powdered sweetener.
Serve and enjoy.
Nutritional Information Per Serving:
total calories = 322 | total fat = 17.3g | saturated fat = 6.33g | cholesterol = 20.92mg | sodium = 178.04mg | carbohydrates = 35.41g | dietary fibre = 1.52g | sugars = 19.16g | protein = 3.4g