Right, first of all, I think it should be very clear that Christmas is not a time for healthy eating. I think we all need a little extra blubber for those cold new year months. This excuse has always worked for me.
So, the first recipe and it’s a good one. I’m not a huge fan of mince pies; normally too much pastry and weird crunchy bits like grains of sand. But these almondy, cherry-y, cranberry-y, mini mince pies are delicious (I think).
250g mincemeat (ish)
50g dried cranberries
80g glace cherries
125g plain flour
50g ground almonds
75g chilled butter cut into little cubes
25g icing sugar
Zest of one orange
2 large egg
A bit of sloe gin
50g Demerera sugar
RIGHT, first of all put the almonds, flour, butter, icing sugar and zest in a blender and blitz. It should be a bit like breadcrumbs with no lumps of butter left. Mix in the egg and knead into a ball. Roll it in a bit of flour and wrap in clingfilm and put in the fridge. I don’t know why but my mum warned of grave consequences if the pastry isn’t chilled.
Whilst your waiting, cut the cherries into small pieces and mix into the mincemeat with the dried cranberries. I also added a slug of sloe gin because it was on the worktop.
After an hour get the dough out and tear off about a 3rd. Using plenty of flour on the surface, roll the dough so it’s about as thick as a 2 pence piece (or just quite thin).
This dough should make about 30 mini mince pies, so 30 circles and stars are needed. I used a serrated circle cutter, I think mine is about 6.5cm across. Then cut 30 small stars to fit onto the top.
Grease your mini muffin tin well! I used a tiny bit of butter then coat in a little flour.
Lay the circles over the holes and gently push them in, I use a mini mortar which conveniently is the perfect size. Then add the filling, and finally lay a star over the top.
Brush the stars with the other egg, mixed up in a bowl, sprinkle with Demerara sugar, and they’re good to go!
Cook on 180 for about 12 mins, and enjoy!