• 350g plain flour
  • 80g icing sugar
  • 245g butter
  • 1 orange
  • 1 large egg
  • 411g jar of mincemeat
  • 15mls fave spirit
  • 20g cornflour
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Fresh nutmeg

These mince pies are inspired by my friend Helen’s mother-in-law, who tops her mince pies with Viennese biscuit dough. They are divine! I thought I’d remove the need for a piping bag and add some heavenly Christmas flavours of orange, nutmeg and cinnamon to make these truly special. Don’t forget you can add your favourite tipple to the mincemeat. Brandy is traditional but Amaretto, ginger wine and even Baileys are all delicious. Makes 24.

Ingredients:

Pastry

- 250g plain flour
- 50g icing sugar
- 125g room temperature butter
- zest of one orange
- 1 large egg

Filling

- 411g jar of mincemeat
- 15mls of your favourite tipple (optional)

Biscuit dough

- 120g soft butter
- 30g icing sugar
- 100g plain flour
- 20g cornflour
- Pinch of cinnamon
- Grating of fresh nutmeg

Pop the flour and icing sugar into your stand mixer and give it a quick mix with the flatbeater. Add the butter and orange zest and mix until it looks like fine breadcrumbs. (Can obviously rub in with hands too.)

Add the egg, mix in short spurts until the pastry dough comes together into a lump. (Use a blunt knife for this stage if making pastry by hand.) Cover in clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 minutes. In the meantime mix the alcohol and the mincemeat in a bowl and make the biscuit dough. Here’s a pic of my little helper. Gratuitous shot of blond toddler alert:

To make the dough mix the very soft butter with the icing sugar in your mixer with the flat beater. Mix until really light and fluffy – about 4 minutes. Then add all of the other biscuit dough ingredients and mix again until combined and fluffy.

Wrap the dough in clingfilm and pop in the fridge. (You can make the biscuit dough with a wooden spoon and sheer willpower if you prefer.)

Roll the pastry onto a floured work surface to about 3mm thick and cut rounds out using a pastry cutter. Pop into your non-stick bun tray then place a teaspoon of the mincemeat into each pastry case.

Roll the biscuit dough to about 1cm thick on a floured surface and cut triangles using a sharp knife. (You can use a mini star cutter or other festive shaped cutter if you have one handy…) If the knife sticks dip in flour between cuts.

Then place on top of the mincemeat and pop the whole tray in the fridge for 10 minutes.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180C/Gas 4 for about 15 – 20 minutes until just starting to brown at the edges.

Eat within 3 days or freeze and use within a month. Defrost at room temperature.

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