Cranberry mince pies, filled with homemade cranberry sauce and mince, then topped with star and holly pastry shapes
Cranberry mince pies!!
So at the start of December we decided to decorate our dining room. It seems that decorating just before Christmas is quite a common thing, although ridiculous at such a busy time of year. As if putting up decorations, buying gifts, wrapping gifts and delivering gifts is not enough. Nope – a re-paint is needed and its top of the list. Obviously this is to make the Christmas decorations look their best….I think?? Anyway our dining room is now looking refreshed and after all that hard work I felt a treat was in order. So naturally I threw away the paint brushes and rollers (no time to wash – treat needed asap!), got out a pan, cracked open the mulled wine and put on the Christmas tunes.
So with Christmas officially under way (in manner of mulled wine and Wham)
I decided mince pies were a must for my next kitchen creation.
Enter….cranberry mince pies.
Very delicious, very crumbly and very very festive.
I decided that even though it would be great to make my own mincemeat, a luxury jar from the local supermarket would be just as good and a lot less mess (as well as quicker and probably cheaper). However, I did spice up the mincemeat by making a really quick and easy cranberry sauce to go with it. The extra dollop of cranberry sauce along with the mince really adds a festive kick to these little pies. Obviously the most festive kick is a large helping of brandy cream, but that’s definitely optional. Cranberry sauce on the other hand I will say is a must 🙂
So here’s to lots of mince pies this Christmas and lashings of brandy cream – run to the kitchen now and make the most of December 🙂
For other Christmas baking ideas:
Cranberry Mince pies with star and holly toppings
For the pastry:
- 125 g plain flour
- 50 g ground almonds
- 100 g butter
- Zest of 1 orange
- 75 g icing sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp cold water
For the filling:
- Jar of good quality mincemeat
- 250 g cranberries
- 100 g light brown sugar
- Zest of 1 orange
- 50 ml orange juice
- 50 ml water
- 2 tsp grated nutmeg
To make the mince pies:
- Extra flour for work surfaces
- 1 beaten egg to glaze
- Extra icing sugar for dusting
- Rolling pin
- 12 hole bun tin
- 2 inch round pastry cutter
- Star/holly pastry cutter
To make the pastry:
- Combine flour, almonds, butter and icing sugar in a food processor and pulse into fine breadcrumbs.
- Mix together egg yolk, orange zest, cold water and vanilla. Place both the breadcrumbs and egg mix in the fridge to chill for 20 minutes.
- Once chilled, gradually add the egg mix to the breadcrumbs whilst pulsing in the processor. Add enough egg mix for the pastry to just come together and no more. If you use up all the egg mix but need more liquid, use cold water.
- Shape pastry into a ball, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes
- (Tip: working with cold or chilled ingredients helps to keep the pastry light and crumbly. Resting pastry in the fridge for at least 20 minutes helps to prevent shrinking in the oven)
To make the cranberry sauce:
- Place the cranberries, sugar, orange juice, zest, nutmeg and water in a small sauce pan and gently heat until boiling. Turn down the heat and simmer until nearly all the cranberries have burst.
- Pour the sauce into a bowl and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes. Sauce will be quite runny whilst hot but will become thicker once cooled.
- Sauce can be stored in sterilised jars if not using immediately or if there is any left over.
To make the pies:
- Flour your work surface and rolling pin.
- The chilled pastry should now be workable but try not to handle too much. Roll out the pastry to a thickness of 2mm and cut out 12 circles with the round cutter. Place circles into the bun tin and push the pastry into the base and sides of each hole.
- Put half a tsp of cranberry sauce in the bottom of each pastry circle, then half a tsp of mincemeat on top of this.
- Use the remaining pastry to cut out stars and holly shapes. Arrange star and holly shapes on the top the mincemeat. Pastry can be gathered back into a ball and re-rolled if necessary (remember to re-flour work surface and rolling pin).
- Heat oven to 170 degrees fan.
- At this point pies can be chilled once again for 20 minutes, to ensure pastry is extra crumbly.
- Once chilled glaze the pies with the beaten egg and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until pastry is golden. Remove from the oven and cool slightly in the tin before transferring to a wire rack. Once completely cool dust with ice sugar and serve (with cream/brandy cream if desired).