FRUIT MINCE PIES

YOU (South Africa) - - LIFESTYLE - and cover in cling­film. Chill for at least 30 min­utes. 4 Lightly sprin­kle flour on a work sur­face and roll out the dough to 2mm thick. Line the muf­fin tin hol­lows with the dough, set­ting enough aside for the pie lids. Prick the bot­tom of each pas­try case

These easy fruit mince pies are great for those of us who don’t have time to bake Christ­mas cakes months in ad­vance. They’re more af­ford­able and re­quire far less ef­fort.

MAKES 16 SMALL PIES PREPA­RA­TION: 20 MIN STAND­ING: OVERNIGHT OR 2-3 DAYS CHILL­ING: 1 HOUR BAK­ING: 15-20 MIN

FILL­ING 500ml (2c) fruit­cake mix 30ml (2T) candied citrus peel grated zest of 1 or­ange juice and grated zest of 1 lemon 1 Granny Smith ap­ple, cored, peeled and grated 2,5ml (½t) each ground cin­na­mon, nut­meg and mixed spice 60ml-125ml (¼-½c) brandy PAS­TRY 750ml (3c) cake flour 125ml (½c) sugar 250g cold but­ter, cubed 1 egg ex­tra flour for sprin­kling TO FIN­ISH 1 egg yolk, whisked with 15ml (1T) wa­ter 30ml (2T) cas­tor sugar

Grease 16 hol­lows of a muf­fin bak­ing tin with non­stick spray. 1 Fill­ing Mix all the in­gre­di­ents in a jar. Seal the jar well and leave overnight in a cool place. Mix the fill­ing again, seal the jar and leave to stand for 2-3 days (op­tional). 2 Pas­try Put the flour and sugar in the bowl of a food pro­ces­sor and pulse for a few sec­onds. Add the but­ter cubes and pulse un­til the mix­ture re­sem­bles bread­crumbs. 3 Add the egg and pulse un­til the mix­ture be­comes sticky. Re­move the dough, roll into a ball lids us­ing a cookie cut­ter in a star shape or any other shape you pre­fer. Make sure the shape you choose will cover the top of the pies ad­e­quately. 6 To fin­ish Fill the pie cas­ings with fill­ing and top each with a pas­try lid. Brush the egg mix­ture over and add a sprin­kling of cas­tor sugar. 7 Bake for 15-20 min­utes un­til the pas­try is golden brown and done. Leave to cool com­pletely, then store in an air­tight con­tainer.

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