Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Recipe: Crumbled Mince Pies with Brandy Butter

Everyone loves a good mince pie - delicious buttery pastry, the aroma of spiced mincemeat freshly baked from the oven and of course lots of brandy butter melting on top. Homemade mince pies are so simple to bake leaving a taste which is streets ahead of their supermarket cousins. This recipe is simple, the crumble topping is absolutely fool proof with a nice hint of cinnamon and you can pick up a great range of artisan mincemeat if you don't want to make a batch of your own.

Although you might like to top your mince pies with little pastry stars, puff pastry tops, or even a thick layer of icing but I find this crumble topping is the most delicious and freezes well too. When it comes to the best mince pies try to source the best ingredients you can find including good quality artisan mincemeat, pure Irish country butter (not margarine) and of course a nice brandy for the brandy butter.


Serves 18

Ingredients

Pastry:

- 350g Plain Flour (sieved).
- 150g Unsalted Butter (chilled & cubed).
- 50g Caster Sugar.
- 1 Free Range Egg.

Filling:

- 350g Artisan Mincemeat (Wexford Mincemeat)

Crumble Topping:

- 150g Plain Flour.
- 100g Unsalted Butter.
- 50g Caster Sugar.
- ½ Tsp Ground Cinnamon


Brandy Butter:

- 150g Unsalted Country Butter (at room temperature).
- 100g Icing Sugar (Sieved).
- 2 to 3 Tbsp Brandy.
- 1 Tbsp Boiling Water.



Method

1. First make the pastry by rubbing the flour, butter and sugar to form a fine breadcrumb mixture in a large wide mixing bowl. Pour in the beaten egg slowly to bring the mixture together (you may not need the whole egg).

2. Tip the mixture out onto a chilled well floured marble surface, bring the mixture together gently with your hands and form into a rectangular shape (remember too much rolling will make your pastry tough). Cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 30mins but ideally an hour.

3. Lightly butter and flour a 12-hole muffin tray, roll out your pastry dough to the thickness of a one euro coin and cut out 12 circles with your pastry cutter (the top of a wine glass works well too but be very careful). Press the pastry circles into each hole and place a tbsp of mincemeat in each pastry circle. You can now leave in the fridge and bake later or freeze a batch.

4. Make your crumble by rubbing the flour, cinnamon, butter and caster sugar together to form a fine bread crumb mixture. Cover the top of each pie with just enough crumble to cover the mincemeat.

5. Bake for 20 - 25 mins or until the tops are golden brown. Turn the tray midway through baking to ensure an even bake throughout. Remove from the oven and let the mince pies completely cool before removing from the tin. Place on a cake stand with a dusting of icing sugar over each pie.

For The Brandy Butter:

Beat the icing sugar and butter together until smooth. Mix in the water then add in the brandy. Store in the fridge over night.

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Photography: Jakub Walutek Photography
Styling: Dermot O' Sullivan