Mince pies are traditionally served in Britain over the Christmas period. They date back to the 13th Century when the Crusaders brought with them recipes from the Middle East that contained spices and fruit. They would have originally included meat, but nowadays, the mince we refer to uses ony dried fruit.
I wrote about how we had a general power outage one Monday. This was followed by something even more serious the following day. We had a massive fire which resulted in our power going down again. Some of the lines were destroyed and others could not cope with the smoke. By lunch time we had no power and the council could not tell us when it would be restored. On Tuesday evening Dave decided he did not feel like eating by candlelight so we drove through to Somerset West for supper. A friend of ours opened up his office so that we could collect his generator before we went for a meal. Dave and I had a quick dinner out and when we drove home we could see the extent of the fire that was burning out of control.
The following morning Dave hooked up the generator. The wiring in our cottage is suspect so that could not work on the external power. Dave came back to the office with everything out of the cottage freezer. That contains things that seldom get used, like my bone broth and Christmas mince. However, as we had already had more than one day without constant electricity, some items had started to defrost. I took the Christmas mince back home with me to put into the fridge in the house as we had power there. By 16h00 the electricity department had fixed all the substations and the power came back on. I am not sure what I was most relieved about, being able to bake these mince pies, or watch TV! What I was most grateful for was having the lights back on.
Click on the links for conversions and notes.
- 225g flour, sifted
- Pinch of salt
- 175g butter, cubed
- 1 egg yolk
- 30mls water, divided
- 450g Christmas mince
- 110g frozen cranberries / frozen red currants
- Place the flour and salt into a mixing bowl
- Add the butter and rub in using your fingertips until it resembles bread crumbs
- Place the egg yolk and 15mls water into a mixing bowl
- Whisk to combine and add to the flour
- Mix together until the dough starts clumping, adding up to 15mls more water
- Turn out onto your work surface and form into a ball
- Flatten this into a disc and cover with cling film
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling out as needed
- Using a muffin tin line each cavity with pastry, making sure it goes over the lip of each hole
- Refrigerate while you preheat the oven to 200° Celsius
- Blind bake for 10 minutes then remove the baking beans and bake for a further 2 minutes
- Remove and set aside to cool slightly and then trim the edges
- Mix together the Christmas mince and frozen berries / currants
- Divide equally between the pastry cases and top with some pastry cut out into your desired shape
- Bake for 30 minutes then remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin
- Serve with brandy butter