I am so late with this post. I seriously can’t expect anyone to give these a try this side of Christmas 2013 (maybe Pin it for next year?)…
That said, when I was in the supermarket yesterday, stocking up on my last minute baking provisions for the next few days, I noticed they were totally sold out of ready-to-roll pastry. There is a lot of mince pie production going on locally, I think.
So what makes these pies special? The pastry.
I recently found this pastry recipe in a new book purchase, ‘Pie’ by Dean Brettschneider. Oh, there are so many great recipes in here! (Expect plenty of pastry-inspired recipes in the New Year…my ‘Tarts and Pie’ sections on the blog are looking rather lacking).
As I had made some homemade mincemeat, this was the perfect opportunity to try out this gingerbread pastry – with a mince pie. I allowed my pastry to rest over night in the fridge but you really don’t have to rest it that long. It is important that it is chilled when you start to roll as it warms quickly and becomes a little sticky. As usual, I roll on a lightly floured piece of baking parchment and have some food wrap between the pastry and the rolling pin, to reduce sticking, assist rolling and minimise handling.
This pastry was very light and fragrantly spiced without being overwhelming ginger-flavoured.
As my mincemeat is heavy on the orange flavour (infused with orange juice and Cointreau), you can imagine the smells evoked in my kitchen whilst these were baking – a fruity, citrus aroma with spicy gingerbread – for me, the ultimate seasonal smell.
So soften the butter, preheat the oven, crank up your Christmas music of choice (mine is Michael Buble) and get baking these seasonal pies.
Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy 2014 to one and all, near and far! x
- 350-400g* Homemade Mincemeat (see separate post), or shop-bought mincemeat
- 170g unsalted butter, softened
- 85g light soft brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 250g spelt flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon all spice
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tbsp. whole milk
- Caster sugar, for sprinkling
- Prepare the filling ahead if you are making 'Homemade Mincemeat'.
- Sift into a bowl the flour and all the spices. Set aside. In the bowl of a freestanding mixture, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the egg and continue to mix until incorporated. Add the flour to the mixture and beat until it comes together. Do not over mix.
- Tip the pastry mixture onto a piece of food wrap. Wrap and mould into a flattened ball. Chill for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.
- Once rested, pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees C, or Gas Mark 3.
- Place the pastry onto a lightly floured piece of baking parchment. With a piece of food wrap between the pastry and the rolling pin, roll the pastry until it is about 2-3mm thick. With a cutter, cut 24 rounds. (All of mine were the same size as I used a Madeleine pan, but if you are using a regular cupcake pan, cut 12 of one size and 12 slightly smaller rounds, to form lids). You will need to gather the pastry scraps and re-roll in order to achieve this number.
- Place the larger of the rounds into a 12 cup muffin/cupcake pan, gently pushing the pastry into the edges. Fill each round with mincemeat.
- With the egg wash - beaten egg and whole milk - brush the edge of the pastry. Top the pies with the smaller round. Brush all 12 pies lids with egg wash. Make two cuts in the pastry with a sharp knife.
- Bake for 15-17 minutes, turning the tray half way through. Sprinkle with caster as soon as the pies come out of the oven. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
- Store in an airtight container.
* I have put a range for the quantity of mincemeat to be used as it can vary dependant on the depth of your cupcake pan. I used a Madeleine pan which meant mine were more shallow. Typically, a shop bought jar of mincemeat weighs 450g, or 1lb.
Source: Pastry adapted from Dean Brettschneider’s ‘Pie’