these are so good that my highly critical brother scarfed 3 of them in about 2 minutes, and then proceeded to get one from the local bakery to test, and returned to tell me that mine were superior in all aspects...not too sweet, and with a lovely flavourful crust.
actually, i happen to agree with him. it's very difficult to eat a shop bought mince pie after you've made them yourself. and so i've been making my own for the last few years. it may seem like a long process, but it will be so worth it!
cherry almond mince pies with a buckwheat crust
for the crust:
240g (1 1/2 cup) buckwheat flour
1/4 tsp salt
125g butter, cubed and cold
1 beaten egg (+1 for egg wash)
1 tsp vinegar
3 Tbsp iced water
1. begin by aerating the flour and salt by lifting the flour through your fingers.
2. rub in the cold fat, until it resembles breadcrumbs.
3. beat together the egg, vinegar and water, then stir into the flour using a knife to cut, stir and bring pastry together.
4. form a slightly sticky ball of dough with your hands.
5. knead lightly for 2-3 minutes.
6. flatten and refrigerate. this will keep in the fridge for at least 24 hours, if not a couple of days. or you can make ahead of time and place in the freezer.
for the cherry almond mince meat:
250g (1 1/2 cups) sultanas or raisins
1 lemon, grated and juiced
1 cup hot water
100g (1/2 cup) almonds, finely chopped
2 tsp mixed spice
2 apples, grated
a little freshly grated nutmeg
100g (1/2 cup) canned cherries, drained
1 Tbsp marmalade
1 dsp vanilla extract
100g (1/2 cup) suet (you can use traditional, gluten free or vegetarian)
1. soak the sultanas/raisins in the lemon juice, zest and hot water for about an hour, until plump.
2. mix all the other ingredients in, and then place in a saucepan to simmer for about 1 hour, until pulpy and glossy.
3. this will keep in the fridge for a fortnight, due to the sugar content and the suet. made ahead of time, it will allows the flavours to enfuse even more! you might even have a little leftover for another batch...
to assemble the mince pies:
1. divide your pastry into 4, and roll out until the width of a coin.
2. cut circles out to fit your tart tin or cupcake tray, and smaller ones to act as lids
3. place the large circle in the tray, fill with mincemeat and cover with a lid.
4. brush over with egg and sprinkle with pearl sugar or edible glitter.
5. bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden, at 180c
cook's notes: these freeze beautifully. so make lots, and keep some in a container in the freezer until Christmas Day to enjoy with the family.
i hope you enjoy making these - i love the process, and the smell as they cook, as well as how good they taste reheated and served with a little greek yoghurt or creme fraiche.
currently listening to: the christmas song by nat king cole - the most gorgeous and warming Christmas song ever!