Christmas recipe: Mince Pies with Sweet Pastry

I love this recipe for Mince Pies with Sweet Pastry. It’s not too difficult and the kids can help too. Merry Christmas!Mince pies

MAKES 12 MINCE PIES

Ingredients

For the mincemeat:

· 225g/8oz raisins

· 225g/8oz sultanas

· 225g/8oz currants

· 150g/5oz candied peel, chopped

· 25g/1oz chopped almonds

· 25g/1oz stem ginger, diced

· 200g/7oz cooking apple, peeled, cored and diced

· 8 tbsp Granulated sugar

· 2 tsp mixed spice

· ½ tsp grated nutmeg

· 1 orange, finely grated zest and juice

· 1 lemon, finely grated zest and juice

· 150g/5oz reduced fat shredded vegetable suet

· 4-7 tbsp water

·

For the mince pies;

· 300g/10oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting

· 150g/5oz polyunsaturated fat spread, chilled and diced

· 2 tbsp SPLENDA® Granulated

· 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten

· 300g/10oz mincemeat

· 2-3 tbsp cold water

Method:

For the mincemeat

Mix all the ingredients together, cover and leave to marinate in a cool place for 12 hours to allow the flavours time to develop. Preheat the oven to its lowest setting.

Transfer to an ovenproof dish, mix in 4 tbsp water, cover with foil and cook for 3 hours. Check the consistency, adding 2-3 tbsp more water if you feel it is too dry.

Cool and then pack into sterilised jars, cover with a waxed disc and seal. Store in the fridge. This method renders (melts) the suet and coats all the ingredients in fat to help prevent fermentation.

For the mince pies

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/190ºC Fan/Gas Mark 6.

Sift the flour into a bowl, add the spread and rub in using fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the Granulated sugar. Add the egg yolk with 2-3 tbsp cold water and bring the mixture together to form a dough.

Lightly flour the work surface, roll out the pastry to ½cm/¼in thickness. Cut out fluted circles 7cm/2¾in diameter for pie bases and 6cm/2 in for tops (or for a more festive touch use a star cutter) re-rolling the pastry when necessary.

Carefully place the pastry bases in a patty tin and spoon in a dessertspoon of mincemeat. Brush the edges of the tops with water or a little beaten egg, place on top of the mincemeat and seal with the pastry bases. Make a small slit in the top of the pastry to allow the steam out and bake for 12-15 minutes until golden.

Cool in the tin for 5 minutes before carefully transferring to a wire rack.

Serve warm or cold. Can be stored in an airtight container for 2-3 days in the fridge.

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