Sweet delight: Dig in the warmth of mince pies this weekend

Enjoy the recipe by chef Tom Aikens

Now that it is 1st December – and officially the Christmas month – we wanted to share with you a mince pie recipe from celebrated chef Tom Aikens.

As you start decorating your tree this week, do try this meaty pudding at home among the warmth of your family.

The dish has been served for over a hundred years now, earlier as a main dish, now simply served as a treat. In 1413, King Henry V served a mincemeat pie at his coronation while Henry the VII was fond of meaty Christmas pie as a main dish, filled with minced meat and fruit.

It has a warm, spicy texture and is beautifully complimented with a spoonful of vanilla ice cream.


INGREDIENTS

(Makes minimum 24)

  • 325g-cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped 270g all-purpose flour 115g shredded suet 1.5g salt 150g raisins 140g butter 115g sultanas and currants 110g caster or powdered sugar 115g mixed candied peel 2 egg yolks 150g soft dark brown sugar 1 whole egg Zest and juice of 1 lemon and orange Few drops vanilla essence 30g nibbed almonds 2 tsp mixed spice 1 tsp cinnamon Large pinch fresh grated nutmeg 0.5g ground ginger 0.5g salt 4 tbsp brandy

METHOD

  • MINCEMEAT 1. Mix all the ingredients together, except the brandy, in a bowl and leave in a cool place for 12 hours to marinade. 2. Place the mixture in a baking dish, cover with tin foil and bake for 2.5 to 3 hours at 140°c / 225°f. 3. Leave to cool stirring from time to time and then stir in the brandy. 4. Spoon the cooled mixture into storage jars and cover with waxed discs and seal. This is then ready to use, however it’s best to leave it to mature for one month.

    PASTRY 1. Sieve the flour and salt, put into a stand mixer and place on a low to medium speed, then add the butter mix till crumb like. Add the sugar then eggs and yolks, it will slowly come together, then refrigerate for 1 hour. 2. Roll the dough out between two sheets of parchment to a 0.5cm thickness, then let it rest for 10 minutes. Cut out 48 pieces with a round cutter, you need the tops to be medium and the bottoms to be large. 3. Make the mince pies in either small Yorkshire pudding moulds or tartlet cases. Lightly grease the moulds/cases then flour. Line with the pastry then add the mince pie mix. Place on the lid, crimp the edges and bake at 180°c /375°f for about 10-15 minutes, dust with icing sugar.

And they’re ready!

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