In England, kids leave a mince pie out for Santa on Christmas Eve, unlike in the US where we leave out cookies. Since Amelia & Matilda are American & British, we leave out both! Santa is very lucky when he comes to our house!!
Mince pies are often mistaken for savory pies in the US, but they are in fact sweet. They’re made with tons of fresh and dried fruit and can even have almonds included. You can even decorate the top of the mini hand pies in any way you wish – a lattice top, a Christmas tree, a star… the decorating possibilities are endless!
Next time you’re looking for a pie to make, try out making mince pies. They’re served best with a big scoop of ice cream.
Mincemeat (chopped fruit filling) (you can buy a premade version of this at specialty stores):
- 1 cup Honeycrisp apple, cored and chopped small (don’t peel)
- 1/2 cup Crisco
- 3/4 cup raisins
- 1/2 golden raisins
- 1/4 cup candied ginger
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- Zest and juice of 1 orange
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 2-3 tablespoons brandy (optional)
Mince Pie Pastry:
- 2 1/2 cups (350g) all-purpose flour
- A pinch of salt
- 1 cup ice cold butter
- Milk or egg (for brushing on top)
- Sugar (for sprinkling on top)
- To make the mincemeat, combine all the ingredients, except for the brandy, in a large mixing bowl. Mix together thoroughly. Cover the bowl with a clean cloth and leave the mixture in a cool place overnight or for 12 hours, so the flavors have a chance to mingle and develop.
- An hour before the mincemeat is ready, make the pastry: sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl and rub the butter into it until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add just enough cold water to mix to a dough that leaves the bowl clean. Leave the pastry to rest in the bowl in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.
- Once cold, roll it out as thinly as possible and cut it into two dozen 3 inch rounds, gathering up the scraps and re-rolling.
- Grease the muffin tins lightly and line them with 12 of the rounds. Fill these with mincemeat to the level of the edges of the pastry. Dampen the edges of the remaining rounds of pastry with water and press them lightly into position to form lids, sealing the edges. Brush each one with milk or egg and make 2-3 snips in the tops. Bake near the top of the oven for 25-30 minutes until light golden brown.
- Cool on a wire tray and sprinkle with icing sugar. When cool, store in an airtight container. Enjoy!