Sunday, November 22, 2009

On the second day of Christmas (Fruit Mince Pies)

Is anyone else here a massive fan of fruit mince pies? The wonderful soft and crumbly pastry and then that sweet and spicy fruit mince is definitely one of my favourite Christmas treats. In the past I have always bought store-made mince pies and have always thought they were pretty good, but this year I decided that it goes against my baking ethos to buy store-made and so I took on the challenge to bake my own.

For some reason I thought baking your own fruit mince pies would be a difficult and tedious task, however I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it is actually quite easy and they taste fantastic! The fruit mince is not as sickly sweet as it generally is when it is store-made and I think the variety of dried fruit used in this recipe really makes the pies.

So on with the recipe. First off you need to make your fruit mince...

Spiced Fruit Mince (from The Australian Women's Weekly - The Christmas Book)
Makes 14 cups

750g sultanas
750g raisins, chopped (I didn't chop mine)
450g dried currants
500g seeded dates, chopped
500g seeded prunes, chopped
2 large green-skinned apples, peeled and grated
200g brown sugar
2 tbsp finely grated orange rind
1 tbsp mixed spice
2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup plum jam
375ml brandy (I used unsweetened orange juice instead)
  1. Mix all ingredients in large bowl.
  2. Cover tightly with cling wrap and store in the fridge for at least 3 days before using (I had mine in the fridge for 2 weeks).
  3. Stir the mixture once each day.
  4. Mixture can be kept for 6 months.
Now that you have the fruit mince ready to go you just need to get the pastry ready and pop those babies in the oven.

Fruit Mince Pies (from The Australian Women's Weekly - The Christmas Book)
Makes 24

300g plain flour
150g unsalted butter, chilled
1 tsp finely grated orange rind
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tbsp water, approximately (I only needed 1 tsp)
2 1/2 cups fruit mince
1 egg, lightly beaten, extra
  1. Sift flour into medium bowl, rub in butter, stir in rind, oil and sugar.
  2. Add egg and enough water to make ingredients cling together.
  3. Turn onto floured surface; knead until smooth. Cover pastry and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Roll pastry between 2 sheets of baking paper until 3mm thick. Cut 24 x 7.5cm rounds from pastry, re-rolling dough as necessary to make 24 rounds.
  5. Place rounds into 2 greased 12-hole (2 tbsp capacity) patty pan trays.
  6. Divide mince among pastry cases.
  7. Roll remaining pastry out and cut out 24 small stars. Top the pies with the stars.
  8. Brush pastry with extra egg.
  9. Bake in a 180C oven for 20 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  10. Serve dusted with icing sugar.

Bottoms of the pies...

Filled with fruit mince, topped with a pastry star and brushed with egg wash ready for the oven...

Fresh out of the oven...

Dusting with icing sugar...

mmm yummy...

5 out of 5 reindeers!


Laura said...

fruit mince pies aren't my cup of tea but these look unreal!

m.e (Cathie) said...

they look delish!
i enjoyed making them last year & will be making them soon aswell.
love the stars on the top.

Ari (Baking and Books) said...

You know, I've actually never tried a mince pie. I should give them a try, I always hear about how yummy they are.

Ash said...

Oh I like these!! So christmassy!! I thought they'd be hard to make too, I shall give them a go!

Chantel said...

Oh great job! Now these would make a great gift!! How long do you think they keep for made like this? :)

You're so cleaver Alicia :)

Renata said...

Look at them, asking to be devoured! Really beautiful!!

Anonymous said...

Chantel - you can store them for up to one week in an air-tight container.

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

I've never tried these before but yours look great. Definitely agree with the DIY ethos!

Rose said...

You amaize me how you make everything from scratch! They look amazing.


apparentlyjessy said...

I love mince pies too! I always get annoyed when the supermarkets start selling them in October though...I boycott them until December. Perhaps I will skip buying them all together this year and try this recipe, they look fantastic!

Leslie Limon said...

Another yummy recipe that I will be making this Holiday season. My great-grandmother used to make the most delicious mincemeat and fruit mince pies.

Katie said...

They are just adorable. I love fruit mince pies. I like how yours used fresh fruit mince rather than jarred

oneordinaryday said...

These are absolutely a perfect little holiday treat. I love the star on top and all that powdered sugar. My dad would be all over this!