Our recipe for the most magical pastries of the year
With Christmas only one week away, menu planning and food shopping is in full swing, and there is one Christmas staple our head office team can’t live without…mince pies!
They are a staple of the English Christmas tradition, introduced in the UK by European crusaders who brought with them recipes from the Middle East which included meats, fruits, and spices. Originally, these pastries had an oblong shape and the filling included minced meat and suet. With time, mince pies changed shape and filling, becoming the sweet treats we know today! With so many vegans in our team we tend to bake vegan so that everyone gets to enjoy this festive tradition together, and here’s our fool proof recipe…
Ingredients for 12 mince pies
For the MINCE”MEAT”…
- Raisins: 350 gr
- Sultanas: 175 gr
- Dried cranberries: 175 gr
- Mixed peel: 100 gr
- Cooking apple: 1 (chopped)
- Vegan butter: 125 gr
- Almonds: 50 gr (chopped roughly)
- Muscovado sugar: 225 gr
- Ground cinnamon: 1 tsp
- Mixed spice: 1 tsp
- Rind and juice of 1 lemon
- Sherry: 200 ml
You can adjust the recipe to suit your taste, adding or remove ingredients, mixing up the spices and fruits…the only rule is to make them scream Christmas! We find adding more sherry helps!
For the PASTRY…
- All-purpose white flour: 240 gr
- Fine salt: ¼ tbs
- Icing sugar: 4 tbs
- Softened coconut oil: 125 gr
And don’t forget icing sugar for the final frosty dusting!
The first step to making mince pies is the preparation of the filling. We recommend you do this at least one day ahead to ensure a rich and intense flavour that will leave everyone speechless.
Place all the ingredients, except the sherry (or alcohol of your choice) in a pot and stir well. Once all the ingredients are mixed, place the pot on the stove on low heat. Bring it to a gentle simmer and keep stirring for 5-10 minutes. Turn the stove off and let the mixture cool down. At this point, you can add the alcohol in! Cover the pot with a lid and place it in a cool part of your house overnight. This will allow your mixture to gain an enriched flavour.
For the pastry, use a large bowl to mix the flour, salt, and sugar. Then chop the softened coconut oil and add it to the mixture. Once there are no big lumps left in the mixture, proceed to rub the small bits with your fingers to make your mixture smooth. At this point, add 75 ml of ice-cold water. You can always add more if needed, but be careful not to add too much, as this will make your pastry too tough. You will know if the pastry needs more water if the dough feels dry in your hands. Once you are satisfied with the smoothness and texture of your dough, form it into a flattened ball trying to touch it as little as possible. Wrap your ball in cling film and chill for 30 minutes. In the meantime, pre-heat the oven to 200° C.
Once the 30 minutes have passed, remove the dough from the fridge and split it into 4 pieces. We suggest working on one piece at a time, letting the others rest in the fridge. For every piece of dough, use a rolling pin to flatten it on a lightly floured surface. The ideal thickness you should aim for is 2mm. Use a cookie cutter to make circles of dough. The size of the circles will depend on which tart cases you are using. Tuck the circle of pastry in the tart cases, removing all air from underneath the pastry. Use the remaining pastry to cut out the stars that will go on top of the pies. Fill the pastry cases with the filling up to three quarters, popping your pastry star on the top.
Your mice pies are now ready to be baked! Bake them for 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Once cooked, let the pies cool down a little before dusting them with icing sugar for the final touch. Make a cup of tea or pour a glass of sherry, put your feet up…and enjoy.
Merry Christmas indeed!