I am not ashamed to admit that a substantial portion of my Christmas budget goes straight to the baked goods aisle at the supermarket. Because being addicted to sweet, spice laden fruit mince pies is a real thing. Right?
Let’s be clear, an addiction to this particular sweet treat can get pricey. Last year I made my own with this recipe, which not only makes plenty, it’s better on the hip pocket and while they might look a little rustic, I assure you, they’re delicious! The rolling of pastry means they’re a little time consuming, so not something you want to do when you only have an hour to spare – but the fruit mince can be made a day ahead and refrigerated, which certainly helps on saving time.
This fruit mince recipe yields enough fruit mince to fill approximately 40 small fruit mince pies. The pastry recipe will only make around 20 pie shells and star tops, so you will need to make two batches to use all of the fruit mince at once. Alternatively, store the fruit mince in a sterilised airtight container or jar in the fridge for up to a month. I use my Thermomix for chopping and mixing, but a food processor or good knife skills will do just as nicely.
130g dried mixed fruit
1 medium Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and quartered
zest of half a lemon, plus 50ml of lemon juice
zest of half an orange
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup brandy (use a sweet verjuice for a non-alcohol version)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp mixed spice
½ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves
- Put the quartered apple into your food processor and pulse to give it a quick rough chop. Remove to a separate large bowl, mix in the lemon juice and set aside.
- Add all of the dried fruit and zest to the food processor and pulse until it’s quite finely chopped. Transfer this fruit to the same bowl with the combined apple and lemon juice.
- Add the brown sugar, brandy and spices to the fruit and apple mix and stir until well combined.
250g plain flour
1 tbs caster sugar
¼ tsp baking powder
180g cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/3 cup iced water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg white, beaten lightly for brushing pastry
- Put flour, sugar and baking powder in your food processor and give a quick pulse to make sure all three are thoroughly combined.
- Add butter and process until the flour mix and butter are just combined.
- With the machine running, gradually add the combined water and vanilla extract through the lid (or chute), until the mixture comes together to form a smooth dough.
- Empty the bowl onto a lightly floured surface and form into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using.
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Roll cold pastry and cut out circles using a 7cm flute edged round cutter. Place each round in a patty pan tin (grease well first!) and put in the fridge while finishing the other tin. Keep your pastry scraps!
- Removing one pan from the fridge at a time, spoon in a teaspoon or two of the fruit mince and return the pan to the fridge.
- Roll the remaining pastry and pastry scraps together and cut some small stars – their tips should be big enough to touch the edges of the pastry cases, but no bigger.
- Put the stars on a baking paper lined tray and put them in the freezer for a few minutes to firm up.
- Remove the stars from the freezer, brush lightly with egg white and sprinkle with caster sugar. Place a star on the top of the fruit mince in each pie case.
- Place in your preheated oven and cook until golden (around 25 minutes). Allow to cool for a few minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool off. Sprinkle with icing sugar before serving, make yourself a cuppa and you’re done!
Find more great ideas for Christmas cooking in our Christmas section.