Seasons Greetings 2014

I've been home in Brisbane for Christmas for just over a week now. In what's become a bit of a tradition I made a few batches of mince pies. I couldn't find any cornflour in my parents kitchen so I changed the pastry recipe a little. I think this pastry recipe is better than the original so I'm sharing it with you.

The filling makes enough for 2 dozen mince pies but keeps well in the fridge. As always for my cooking, I use a 250 ml cup; a 20 ml tablespoon; 60 gm eggs and I don't use a fan force oven so remember to adjust the baking temperature down. 

Here's the recipe for you.

Mince Pie Recipe (makes 12)

100 gm (3 oz) butter 
¼ cup sifted icing sugar 
1 egg, lightly beaten 
1 tsp vanilla extract 
1½ cups plain flour 
½ tsp baking powder 

1¼ cups fruit mince (1 bottle) 
1 green apple, peeled and grated 
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind 
30 gm (1 oz) melted butter 
1 tablespoon thick cut orange marmalade 
a handful of chopped nuts (I use macadamias or almonds) 
1 additional egg, lightly beaten or milk 
Caster sugar 
Shallow round based patty tins 

* Cream the butter with the icing sugar. Add the egg and beat well. Sift the flour together with the baking powder and stir into the creamed mixture. Knead lightly on a floured board. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour. 

* Put the fruit mince into a mixing bowl. Add the apple, the grated rind, the marmalade then the melted butter and mix until well combined. You’ll need about half of the fruit mince mixture for this recipe. Store the rest in a tightly sealed jar in the fridge. It will keep for ages.

* Preheat the oven to 190°C. Roll the pastry out thinly between 2 sheets of greaseproof paper and cut into rounds. Line the lightly greased patty tin with the pastry. Cut the same number of slightly smaller circles to fit the tops of the pies. 

* Put 1 teaspoon of fruit mince into each pie then moisten the edges with the beaten egg or milk. Make a small slit in each pastry lid or cut out with a small star cutter. Top each filled pie with a lid and press edges of pastry well to seal. Glaze with the remaining beaten egg or milk if using and sprinkle caster sugar over the top of the pies. 

* Bake the pies in the preheated oven for 15- 20 minutes or until pale golden brown. Cool the pies for 10 minutes before placing on a wire cooling rack. Dust with icing sugar while still warm.

* When completely cool, store the pies in an airtight container.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all my readers. See you all again some time in the New Year with some more of my adventures in baking.

Bye for now,


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