I know it’s a bit premature to be making mince pies since we aren’t even halfway through November yet, but it’s all in the name of recipe testing for the upcoming winter season. Here is my tasty, tried and tested mince pie recipe to get you in the winter spirit.
300g variety of dried fruit (raisins, sultanas, figs etc)
Combine all of the dried fruits in a bowl and just cover with boiling water, leave to soak for 1 hour until soft.
Place flour in a large mixing bowl, cut the cold butter into cubes and rub in with fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs (alternatively place in a blender and pulse until breadcrumb texture). Mix in the ground almonds and sugar. Add the egg yolks and a little ice cold water, bring the mixture together until a firm ball of dough forms. Don’t over work it! Shape into a ball then flatten out a bit. Wrap in cling film and chill for half an hour.
Drain and place in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the whisky and calvados, followed by all other ingredients. Leave to the side while you make pastry
Pre-heat oven to 190. Grease tartlet tin with butter. Roll out half the pastry until about 3-4mm thick. Cut out bases to line the tins, then fill each tart with mincemeat. Roll out the other half of the pastry and cut out lids, place on top and seal with a little water. Brush the tops with beaten egg, wait 5 minutes and do another thin coating of egg wash. Cut a small hole in the top of each mince pie and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden. Cool, and dust with icing sugar if you like.
ALTERNATIVELY you can buy good quality mince meat and skip this step completely.
Adapted from a variety of recipes by Delia Smith, Leiths & Paul Hollywood