Saturday, December 17, 2011

Making Christmas Mince Pies........

This is the ancient recipe for mince meat that I got from my Mum, and she must have got it from her Mum, but can't remember.....


1lb apples
1lb raisins
1lb sultanas
1lb currants
half lb mixed peel
2 and a half teaspoons mixed spice
half lb suet
1lb sugar
half cup brandy

Wash and dry raisins, sultanas, currants.
Mince peel, raisins, apples, sultanas together. add rest of ingredients and leave to stand for 24 hours in  cool place. It will keep for up to a year in the fridge.

The pastry recipe:

10oz (275g) plain flour
1oz (25g) ground almond
6oz (175g) butter
3oz (75g) castor sugar (finer sugar than ordinary granulated stuff but not powdered sugar)
zest of one lemon
1 egg yolk
3 Tablespoons milk

Sift flour and add ground almonds. Cut butter into flour mix in small pieces, and rub in. Add sugar and lemon zest. Lightly mix the egg yolk and milk and stir into mixture. Mix to firm dough and turn onto floured board and knead until smooth. Wrap in cling wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll out thinly, and cut out little circles for pies. Put one teaspoon of mix into each pie (don't be tempted to overfill them!) and the cut out slightly smaller circles for tops, and brush with milk to seal edges. Cut a small cross in the top and brush with milk.

Bake at 200C for 15-20 mins. Serve warm (you can reheat them) and dust with castor sugar. brandy cream or brandy butter are wonderful with them!

And then the finished little pies you can see in yesterday's post. The pans I use used to belong to my Grandmothers. Both of them. Marge and I shared them between us and they are SO special. Old. Battered. And they have the lovely shell pattern on the bottom. They make me grin when I ceremoniously haul them out each year. Baking mince pies would not be the same in anything else, and we will divide them among the children one day. When I pass the "Baking of the Mince Pie" baton on to the next generation!

It is raining right now. Freezing sleet kind of rain. And I have butternut soup waiting to be heated and a table full of nibbles because I have friends popping in this evening. The mince pies will be gone by tomorrow, I think, and that is just fine.

Mum and I were on duty in the Traidcraft shop for a couple of hours at lunch time, so I got a little more of the ripple done. I am falling asleep too fast in the evenings! Keep warm and enjoy your weekend!


Midlife Mom said...

Those look delicious! Here they put deer meat in mince meat and I won't eat it but these look lovely and yummy! I love your old tins, isn't it nice to cook in things that have been in the family for so long! My cooking will start on Monday so that Christmas Day I won't have to cook at all. We will come home from church and have a buffet of hot turkey sandwiches and all the fixings. Easy peasy. I don't want to be in the kitchen all day Christmas Day with everyone else asleep on the sofas from over eating! ha!

You are so right the smell of the spices just bring back all those wonderful Christmas memories. Can't wait to get my hot spiced cider simmering.

Your post on parenting was right on! Giving our children their wings is a gift that we have prepared them for. Oh my, putting sweets on the pillow of a new member of the incarcerated club makes me ill. Good grief, they wouldn't be there if they had acted properly and not gotten themselves into trouble!

Hope you have a lovely Christmas my friend! xoxox

Kelli said...

So for the first time, I realized that there is no "meat" in mince meat... silly me. I have to ask- I am not a an of dried fruits so will I like this with all the currents and stuff? Either way, I am keeping this if not just for the pastry recipe :)

Crystal said...

The pies look just lovely! I'm surprised you could resist tasting them - I wouldn't have! Thanks for sharing the recipe. I had no idea they were so easy to do. I have done precious little baking - the sewing machine is holding me captive :) That and doing things with grandchildren and family members. Tomorrow I'm going to help our son and his wife move in to their brand new home. It's very exciting (and sobering for him as he signs a large mortgage!).

Happy Fourth Sunday of Advent!

The Bookworm said...

Ooh! I like the sound of the pastry with ground almonds. I think I may try that.

The Bookworm said...

Just a thought ... do you think that pastry recipe would work well with an apple pie? Apple and almond sounds quite good to me.

Anonymous said...

try mincemeat and marmalade pies. half and half. yum yum! granny 2b2

Vee said...

Yes, that falling asleep too fast is an indication that you're running on fumes. Rest is what the entire world needs I'm thinking. I fall asleep at the computer in the middle of a read, which is what I think just happened here. Oh do not worry, I know all about the special pans and not overloading the pies and the recipes both delivered because you are a very good blogger. Thank you!