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Festive Mince Pies Extracted from Festive by Francesca Stone (Pop Press, 2023) Photography by Francesca Stone
November 2023
Reading time 2 Minutes
Making your own shortcrust pastry is actually very easy and can be done quickly, but I often use ready-made pastry for a few reasons. Firstly, many of these are vegan, which works well for our family, plus it means I have more time to make my own delicious mincemeat filling and test new ingredients whenever I like! I make mincemeat in big batches, but you can halve this recipe if you want a smaller amounts.
20–24 pies
  • For the mincemeat
  • 1 Bramley apple
  • 5 tsp mixed spice
  • 250g raisins
  • 250g sultanas
  • 250g currants
  • 100g dried apricots, chopped
  • 250g mixed candied peel
  • 400g dark brown sugar
  • 200g vegetable suet
  • 5 tbsp port or brandy (optional)
  • For the pies
  • Butter or margarine, for greasing
  • Ready-rolled pastry
  • Flour, for dusting
  • Cinnamon sugar
  • Candied lemon or ginger, finely chopped
  • Flaked almonds
  • Ready-made royal icing or marzipan
  • Icing sugar, for dusting
  • You’ll need
  • Heatproof jars with lids
  • 2 x 12-hole cupcake trays
  • Round cookie cutters – larger than the holes in the tin
  • Star cookie cutters (optional)

To make the mincemeat, grate the apple and combine with the rest of the ingredients, except the brandy or port, in a large saucepan.

Cook gently over a low heat for around 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the suet has melted and the mixture is thick and sticky. Set aside to cool.

Once the mincemeat is cool, add the brandy or port if required. Store in sterilised jars for up to a year.

To make the mince pies, preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/ gas mark 6 and rub a little butter or margarine onto a shallow cupcake pan to grease. Roll out the pastry onto a floured surface.

Using a round cutter, cut out enough circles to fill the tin. Gently press each into a cupcake space.

Using a teaspoon, add one scoop of your mincemeat mixture to the pastry case in the pan. Add any additions such as the cinnamon sugar or candied lemon and ginger now.

Top each pastry case with your choice of topping – I like to use pastry stars, flaked almonds or grated marzipan.

Bake in the oven for 12–15 minutes until the pastry is golden. Leave to cool on a wire rack and dust with icing sugar once cool.

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