Home-made mince pies
Pate sucree (sweet, shortcrust pastry)
- 60g butter, softened
- 40g caster sugar
- 2 free-range egg yolks
- 140g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until well combined, then beat the egg yolks, one at a time until fully incorporated into the mixture.
- Mix in the flour until the mixture comes together as a ball of dough.
- Tip the pastry out onto a floured work surface and knead briefly until smooth.
- Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill for 30 minutes. Alternatively, it can be frozen for use at a later date.
Assembly and cooking
- Roll the pastry out carefully, using a little flour to avoid it sticking to the surface, and cut out discs to line a tart tin or individual foil cases.
- Fill each with a little mincemeat and top with a smaller disc.
- Egg-wash the top of the pastry and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
Home-made cranberry mincemeat
- 25g soft dark brown sugar
- 20ml ruby port
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 50g currants
- 50g raisins
- 50g dried cranberries
- 1 dessert apple, peeled and grated
- ½ orange, zest and juice
- few drops almond extract
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp honey
- In a large pan, dissolve the sugar in the ruby port over a gentle heat.
- Add the mixed spice, currants, raisins, dried cranberries, grated apple and the zest and juice of the orange.
- Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 20 minutes, or until the fruit has broken down and has absorbed most of the liquid in the pan.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little.
- Add the almond extract, vanilla extract and honey and stir well with a wooden spoon.
- Use immediately or spoon the mincemeat into sterilised jars and, once cool, store in the fridge for up to two weeks.