Mincemeat pies

Hosting a British-themed holiday dinner called for some very specific British classics and that included mincemeat pies. Dating back several hundred years, it was of course originally made with actual meat. We opted for a more modern rendition of fruit and spices.

Recipe

from Joyofbaking.com
Makes 24 mini pies

Pie pastry
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp granulated white sugar
½ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 – 4 tbsp ice cold water
1½ cups mincemeat

Mincemeat (makes about 4 cups)
4 tbsp butter
1 cup unsweetened apple juice
2 large apples, peeled, cored and grated
½ cup dark raisins
½ cup golden raisins
½ cup dried currants
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup dried prunes
¾ cup candied mix peel
½ cup candied red cherries
zest and juice of one lemon
⅔ cup packed brown sugar
⅓ cup dark or light rum
⅓ cup brandy or cognac
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp fresh ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp salt

Mincemeat: Place all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring often, for about 30 minutes or until the liquid is almost evaporated. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Transfer to a covered container and place in refrigerator, at least overnight, before using.

Pie pastry: In a food processor, place flour, salt and sugar and process until combined. Add the cold butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle water over the pastry and process until pastry holds together. Turn the dough and gather into a ball. Divide the pastry in half and flatten each half into a disk, wrap and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 F. Roll out each disk on a lightly floured surface until about ⅛” thick. Using a round cookie cutter slightly larger than the muffin cups in a 24 mini muffin tin. Gently place rounds in into muffin cups and top with heaping teaspoons of mincemeat. Cut out 24 stars or other shapes and gently place atop the mincemeat. Brush tops of the stars with with cream and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until the pastry has lightly browned. Cool on wire rack and dust with powdered sugar. Serve warm, at room temperature or cold. These tarts freeze well.

Musings

A few notes on preparation: We used apple cider and only 1 grated apple. They took about 9-10 minutes to bake in our oven.

David declared them to be extremely delicious! They were adorable and just the right size. The crust was deliciously buttery and flaky. The filling was a delightful combination of savory and sweet. Super tasty. Jolly good, chaps!

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