Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Fruit Mince Pies


I've got a confession to make. Up until recently I despised dry fruit with a passion! It made it really hard at Christmas time because I loved the flavour of stewing fruit for Christmas pudding, fruit cake and mince pies but I couldn't stand the texture. So much so, that my Mum used to blend the fruit before making her fruit cakes.

However, one year something happened...some may even call it a Christmas miracle. I thought it was unfair that everyone was sharing in this delicious Christmas tradition and I would miss out, so I gave the pudding another go...

...and I have never looked back!

Christmas pudding, fruit cake, fruit mince pies. I love them ALL! These fruit mince pies are a particular favourite of mine. Crumbly, buttery pastry with an added flavour of almond. The perfect morning tea treat at Christmas time. 


INGREDIENTS
Fruit Mince
500g Sultanas
375g Raisins
200g chopped Mixed Peel
170g Dried Cranberries
200g Red GlacĂ© Cherries 
1 cup Currants
250g Jar Mixed Berry Jam
2 green Apples, peeled and coarsely grated
2 cups firmly packed Brown Sugar
1 Tbs Mixed Spice
1 cup Brandy or Sherry
1 Tbs grated Orange Zest
1/3 cup freshly squeezed Orange Juice
2 tsp grated Lemon Zest
1/4 cup Lemon Juice
(This recipe makes about 10 cups of Fruit Mince)

Pastry
1 cup Plain Flour
1/2 cup Almond Meal
1/3 cup Icing Sugar
120g chilled Butter, chopped
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 cups Fruit Mince
1 Tbs Milk
Raw Sugar
Icing Sugar, for dusting

To Make the Fruit Mince...
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl or directly in an air tight  container (saves washing up). Store in a cool dark place for at least a week. The longer you leave the mixture the better, even 2 weeks would be fine.


To make the Pies...
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Grease a mini cupcake pan with oil spray

In a food processor, process flour, almond meal, icing sugar and butter until it looks like bread crumbs (ensuring the butter is properly chilled will help in this process). Add the egg yolk and 1 Tbs of cold water. Mix until the dough just comes together.

On a floured surface, knead dough until just smooth. Wrap in glad wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Roll pastry out between 2 pieces of baking paper, until about 3mm thick. Cut out rounds with a 6.5mm circle cookie cutter. Line the cupcake tin with pastry. Spoon fruit mince into each pastry case (how much depends on how big your cupcake tin is, I used around a teaspoon).

Decorate the tops however you like, I made simple crosses but you could easily use a shaped cookie cutter. Brush the tops with milk and sprinkle with the raw sugar.

Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool in the pan before turning out and dust with icing sugar.

A big thank you to Super Food Ideas for this delightful recipe.

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