I have spent the whole of this week baking and eating mince pies (it has obviously been a good week) in order to create the perfect Christmas recipe. For me the
The wonderful folks at Tala sent me what I like to think of as my first Christmas present this year (yeyyyy!!) Included in the package of goodies (that have provided me with so much bakinspiration, watch this space) was a little nest of star shaped cookie cutters. They could not have been more perfect for the mince pies I had in mind, not to mention the fact they are yellow me fave colour all sunny much unlike the dreary British weather ugh. I used the baby one for the stars on top and the third one up (size wise) for the stars placed immediately on top of the fruity goodness.
The clementine zest in the dough enhances the deliciousness of these crumbly mince pies greatly - for an even bigger zesty hit you could replace a tablespoon of the water with clementine juice, but to be honest I think they are perfect zest-alone (the four I ate this morning are a testament to this).
I even tried spooning the mincemeat onto a layer of marzipan in the first batch (I genuinely believed I had come up with the single greatest twist on the classic mince pie, whatta FOOL) but the marzipan just bubbled up with the fruit and created a rather sticky (but tasty) mess. If anyone has any bright ideas as to how the marzipan-layer-mince-pie might work PLEASE comment! I tried pastry, marzipan, pastry, fruit, too - it was not a visual success.
I know the chalk writing in some of the photos is impressively bad but I think my snowman more than makes up for it right? I was too excited about using the chalk to even think about making my handwriting nice and when you're half way through your degree that consits mainly of scrawling down everything somebody says to you for an hour at a time, nice handwriting is a thing of the past.
But thankfully lectures are over for this semester yeeeeeahhhhh and tomorrow I will begin revision full speed ahead (likely story) not so yeeeeaahhh so a few more of these mouth wateringly moreish little helpers (sneaky christmas reference there geddit?) are going to make things much more pleasant.
What's Christmas without mince pies eh?
(makes approx. 18 mince pies)
120 g all purpose flour
50 g ground almonds
100 g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
zest of 1 clementine
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 large free-range egg yolk
2-3 tbsp cold water (you could replace 1 tbsp water with 1 tbsp clementine juice)
18 tsp good quality mince meat (or as many teaspoons as you have mince pies)
Combine the flour and almonds in a bowl. Rub in the cubed butter until your mixture is crumbly. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and zest of 1 clementine. Mix to ensure the zest, sugar and spices are evenly distributed. Add the egg yolk and the water 1 tbsp at a time and bring the mixture into a smooth ball of dough. Chill the dough for an hour or so.
Pre heat the oven to 160 degrees C (fan oven) whilst you cut out the dough. Split the dough into two, one piece slightly bigger than the other. Roll the bigger piece (leaving the smaller piece on the fridge) out so it's about 2-3 mm thick and using a 3" circular cookie cutter cut out as many circles as you can, about 18 (once you've cut out, bring it back into a ball and roll it out again).
Place the dough circles into a bun tin (NOT a muffin tin, the sides are too deep, I mean a tin your 'rents probably had when making fairy cakes for your 5th birthday party) and add a teaspoon of mince meat to each 'case'. Now roll out the remaining, smaller piece of dough and cut out 18 stars, re-balling and rolling as before, using a Tala star cutter 3" at its widest point. Place the stars on top of the mince-filled pie cases and using a pastry brush wash with milk.
If you have any dough left you could make a few smaller stars to lay on top of the bigger ones as I have done in some of the photos. Bake the mince pies for 20 - 25 minutes. Once cooled, dust with icing sugar and try not to eat them all in one go!!