Chocolate Mince Pies
MAKES 12 For the mincemeat:
Zest of 1 lemon, juice of ½ lemon
150g shredded suet
125g dark brown sugar 45g chopped mixed peel ½ tsp nutmeg, grated 1 medium Bramley apple, peeled and grated
For the pastry:
280g plain flour, sifted
125g icing sugar, sifted
50g cocoa powder, sifted A pinch of salt
200g butter, cold and diced 2 egg yolks
Zest of 2 clementines
Juice of 2 clementines 2 tbsp milk
1 egg, beaten 1 To make the mincemeat, add the raisins and currants to a bowl and pour in the brandy and lemon juice. Soak for one hour, then drain and set the brandy aside.
2 In a large bowl, add all of the ingredients together in the order given. Mix well, then pour in the brandy and stir again.
3 Spoon the mixture into sterilised jars, press the meat down into the jar to remove any air, cover and leave for at least a fortnight.
4 To make the pastry, add the flour, icing sugar, cocoa powder and salt into a bowl and mix together. Add the butter to the bowl and rub it in using your fingertips (make sure your hands are clean), until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the egg until the mixture comes together. You may need to add a little cold water.
5 Turn the dough out onto a lightly-floured surface and knead it briefly until smooth. Wrap it in clingfilm and leave to chill in the fridge for one hour.
6 Preheat the oven to 200˚C/180˚C fan/gas mark 6. In a bowl, mix together the mincemeat, clementine zest and juice.
7 Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out to a thickness of 0.5cm. Using a 7.5cm fluted cutter, stamp out 12 discs from the pastry and use them to line a 12-hole bun tin. Fill each hole with two teaspoons of the mincemeat mixture and brush the edges with a little milk. Using a 6cm fluted cutter, cut out 12 circles and use them to top the mince pies, pressing the edges together with your fingertips.
8 Brush the top of each mince pie with the beaten egg. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the pastry is cooked through.
A Christmas classic the kids will love to help make... and eat!
FR EEZE & KEEP