Thursday, December 1, 2011
Nigella's Christmas Mince Pies
To celebrate the beginning of December I thought I would start the month with a Christmas recipe. I have quite the foodie crush on Nigella Lawson thanks to all of the amazing and decadent recipes thats she comes up with and Nigella's Christmas Kitchen is playing on TV at the moment. Last week she made these gorgeous wee christmas mince pies.
I know what you're thinking a fruit mince pie is a fruit mince pie, but these ones are made a bit more interesting by mainly using fresh or frozen cranberries instead of dried ones. The end result is a beautiful, slightly tart fruit mince. This fruit mince could be used in any sort of recipe that calls for fruit mince like rugelach. Speaking of which, I really must make up some and post them to you because if you havn't tried rugelach you are missing out!
240g plain flour
60g vegetable shortening ( I used Kremelta)
Juice of 1 orange
Pinch of salt
75g brown sugar
300g fresh or frozen cranberries
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
30g dried cranberries
Zest and juice of 1 orange
Few drops almond essence
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp Honey
1. Sift the flour into a shallow, freezer-proof bowl.
2. Add small dollops of shortening to the flour.
3. Cut the butter into small cubes, add to the flour and shake to cover it.
4. Place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, combine the orange juice and salt and put in the fridge.
6. Empty the chilled flour, shortening, butter mix into a food processor.
7. Pulse until it forms porridge-like crumbs.
8. Gradually add the chilled orange juice, pulsing until it just starts to come together as a dough. Add a little chilled water if necessary.
9. Turn the mixture out on to a floured board and knead until it comes together as a dough.
10. Divide into 3 equal discs, wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
11. Meanwhile, in a large pan dissolve the sugar into the port over a gentle heat.
12. Add the cranberries and stir.
13. Add the spices, currants, raisins, dried cranberries and the zest and juice of the orange.
14. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until the fruit begins to break down. (You may need to smush the cranberries with a spoon).
15. Cool a little then add the brandy, almond essence, vanilla and honey and stir well.
16. Grease mini muffin pans or a mini tart pan.
17. Turn dough out onto a floured board and roll out until it is about 3mm thick.
18. Using a cutter of the right size, cut out circles.
19. Gently press the circles into the tin.
20. Spoon the fruit mince into the pastry.
21. Roll out the remaining dough and cut out shapes for on top of the pies.
22. Sit the shapes on top of the fruit mince.
23. Bake at 220 degrees C. for 15 minutes or until golden.
24. Serve dusted with icing sugar.
N.B. This recipe made 36 mini muffin size pies.