Last year I posted on making your own fruit mince, but spirit of Christmas and all, I thought it a timely occasion to elaborate.
I love my fruit mince pies as much as the next gal/guy/tentacled snow-lizard, but the store-bought ones have nothing on the home-made brandy-rich variety you baked in your kitchen.
You can make your fruit mince to taste: don't like nuts? don't add them; candied fruit peel not your thing? good--I applaud you--out it goes! I personally like to add extra spice and more brandy to mine, and they go down a treat in our household. They also make great little Christmas gifts for co-workers!
The fruit mince is one of those things that gets better after a week or so. I read the fabulous Maggie Beer starts making hers as early as 6 months ahead. I, for one, am not that brave. I've made mine a month ahead and the flavour is fabulous.
My major gripe with store-bought variety is the pastry. It's often so crumbly it can't be removed from the casing. The pastry used in this recipe is essentially a shortbread and the result is brilliant.
Give it a try!
Fruit Mince Pies
250g Plain Flour
85g Icing (Confectioners Sugar)
2-3 tbspn Iced Water
Approx. 1 cup fruit mince (see recipe)
1. Rub the butter into the flour and sugar
2. Using a knife, add the cold water in, a small amount at a time till the mixture starts to come together. Bring together with your hands.
3. Wrap in cling wrap, and place in fridge.
Pulse the flour, butter and sugar in a food processor until completely combined.
4. Preheat oven to 180C fan-forced, 200C conventional.
5. Roll out 2/3 of the pastry between two sheets of baking paper until 4mm thick. Cut out 3" rounds and press into a cupcake tray.
6. Fill each case with fruit mince (about 1 tbspn).
7. Roll out the remaining pastry, and cut 1.5 inch rounds for your pie lids, and cover each pie. I don't seal the edges; just leave the edges of the lid sitting snuggly inside the case, just touch the sides (as you can see pictured).
8. Place in oven for 20-25 minutes, or until pastry is golden and dry.