We first published this delicious recipe for brandy mince pies last Christmas and it was so popular, we wanted to share it with you again this year.
1 medium Bramley
170g mixed fruit (sultanas, raisins and currants)
80g dark brown sugar
50g cold butter
zest of 1 lemon and juice of half
zest and juice of 1 orange
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp grating of nutmeg
50 ml brandy
400g sweet shortcrust pastry. Make your own with good quality butter, as short as you dare to make it!
- Zest and juice the lemon and orange.
- Grate the Bramley and pour over the juice. Add to the dried fruit and spices and mix well.
- Grate the cold butter and add to the mix.
- Place in a low oven for about 10-15mins just until the butter has melted (this both preserves and prevents the apple fermenting). Stir to coat well.
- Leave to cool. Then add brandy.
- Spoon into sterilised jars and lids or use immediately.
- Roll out the pastry disc tops and bottoms and place the bottoms in the mince pie tin (with approx. 6cm and 7cm cutters)
- Place a good tablespoon of mincemeat in each and cover with a smaller pastry disc.
- To make star shapes, cut out a star shape in the pastry lid using a star cutter. Do this before placing the lid on top of the mince pie. Remove the star. Give it a quarter turn and place it back on top of the mince pie lid.
- Brush pastry lids with beaten egg mixed with a little milk.
- Bake for about 15 minutes in a hot oven (200C/180C Fan) until golden brown on top. The exact time will depend on your oven.
- Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before removing from the tin then dust with lots of icing sugar.
- Make the mincemeat as far in advance as possible to allow the flavours to develop (a few months ahead of time if possible, or even a few days helps).
- Get ahead and flat pack pastry discs in between sheets of greaseproof and store in the freezer until needed.
- Make the pastry bottom slightly thinner than the top to avoid a soggy bottom.
Tracey Whewell runs local catering company Dolce Vita