All of this week’s posts have built up to these mince pies. So what exactly is a mince pie? A mince pie is a traditional dessert eaten in the UK at Christmas time. It dates way way back to the 13th century and the European crusaders but the early versions contained meat and suet. Suet is still used in some recipes today. It’s a type of beef fat and helps give the mincemeat a long shelf life. It sounds a little gross but the pies don’t taste of meat.
After living in the UK for 11 years I felt a little bit British. While living in London I drank Pimm’s, ate Victoria Sponge cake and words such as trousers snuck their way into my vocabulary. However, I still always felt more American. Now that I’m back in the US I think I miss British things I didn’t even like when I was there! First good example, mince pies. I went to great lengths to avoid putting a mince pie in my mouth. The brown jelly like consistency of the cheap ones sold in the stores always turned me off. I did always enjoy going to store and finding different varieties for Alex to try. He loves them (he already ate so many of these he felt sick yesterday).
After avoiding them for more than 10 years these very pretty streusel mince pies are the first ones that I have ever tasted and put in my mouth! I used a British recipe for the mince pies and have included the American equivilent ingredients (sultanas and raisins are raisins and golden raisins) and have also provided American measurements for those that feel brave enough to make their own mincemeat!
I just finished reading Christmas at Carrington’s for this month’s book club and the main character Georgie eats them by the box full accompanied by copious amounts of bucks fizz.
My only regret is I wish I’d thought the process of making these out in advance. I ended up spending most of the day in the kitchen making all of the components. I’d recommend breaking the process up over several days.
powdered sugar, for dusting
350g AP flour (2 cups + 1 scant cup)
1 tbs powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
90g chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (6 1/2 tbs)
90g chilled vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces (6 1/2 tbs)
50g AP flour (1/2 scant cup)
42g unsalted butter, at room temperature (3 tbs)
25g light brown sugar (1/8 cup)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
25g hazelnuts, chopped (1/4 scant cup)
- Spray a 12 hole cupcake pan with the cooking spray. Make the pastry. In a food processor add the flour, powdered sugar, salt, butter and vegetable shortening. Process until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Slowly add 3-4 tbs of ice cold water until the mixture comes together to form a dough.
- Turn onto a lightly floured surface and divide the dough into two equal pieces. Roll out and using a coffee mug cut rounds. Re knead the scraps of dough. Press each round into a hole in the cupcake tray. The dough should come all the way up the sides (my biggest biscuit cutter wasn't quite big enough for this).
- Fill each pie with 1 tbs of mincemeat filling. Refrigerate the pan for 20 minutes.
- While the pan is in the refrigerator preheat the oven to 350 F and start on the streusel. In a large bowl mix together the flour, butter, light brown sugar and cinnamon. Work the mixture with your fingertips until the mixture resembles crumbs. Stir in the hazelnuts.
- Place 1 teaspoon of streusel over each pie and bake for 25 minutes. Serve warm with a dusting of icing sugar.
American measurements are approximate
adapted from Delicious