The early mince pie was known by several names, including “mutton pie”, “shrid pie” and “Christmas pie”. Over the years ingredients have included minced beef, suet, a range of fruits, and spices such as cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.

Mince pies always taste 10 times better when they’re home-made and our recipe is bound to be a hit. Create Food and Party Design have put together a mince pie recipe for us all to enjoy and make this Christmas. Better start practicing now so by Christmas you’re serving up perfect mince pies!

MINCEMEAT

400g raisins

300g sultanas

150g cranberries

7g ground cloves

15g cinnamon

400g dark brown soft sugar

100g vegetarian suet

30g sherry vinegar

12g orange blossom water

The zest and juice of 1 lemon

The zest and juice of 3 oranges

Combine all the above ingredients and leave for a week in the fridge before making your mince pies. This will give you enough filling for 24 pies. If you don’t want to make this many in one go you can store the leftovers in a sterilised jar – when filled, cover with waxed discs and seal. The mincemeat will keep for ages in a cool, dark cupboard – perfect for another batch of mince pies as you’ll want seconds!

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PASTRY

This will make enough for 12 mince pies

375g plain flour

250g butter, softened

125g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

1 medium free-range egg

dough

METHOD

– Preheat the oven to 200C

– For the pastry, rub the flour, butter, sugar and egg together with a splash of cold water until it just comes together as a dough. Be careful not to over work the dough. Wrap the pastry in cling film and set aside to chill in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.

– Roll out the pastry to a 3mm thickness. With a round pastry cutter, cut out twelve 9cm discs of pastry. Press the pastry into the muffin cups of a 12 hole pastry tin and fill each one with a good helping of the mincemeat mixture (roughly 60g), so that it reaches three-quarters of the way up the side of the pastry-lined cup.

– With a fluted pastry cutter, cut out 12 8cm in pastry circles for the lids (slightly bigger than the top of the muffin cups). Place a lid on top of each pie and gently push down. For something a little different, why not cut out some shapes to place on the top rather that a full lid.

– Bake for 20 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

– Dust with icing sugar and serve warm with fresh cream or brandy butter for that extra bit of indulgence.

Perfection!

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