Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Fruit mince pies
Good morning everyone! It's wacky Wednesday, and today as promised, I will reveal what I did with some of my fruit mince.
We had a bake sale to raise money for the Salvation Army on Monday, so one of the treats that I made was fruit mince pies. These are a traditional British Christmas treat that we have imported. They consist of a shortcrust pastry shell filled with fruit mince, and topped with more shortcrust pastry - often in a fancy shape like a star or a heart.
The dough recipe that I used, from the Australian Good Food Christmas Baking supplement (December 2009), was very short and buttery indeed - which meant that I had a very hard time making the pies in the exceptionally hot weather that we've had. Also, it meant that the pies were quite flaky and crumbly, so they didn't travel well between my house and work. I can't comment on the taste, because I donated all the pies, but if you have a yen to try these, the recipe is as follows:
300g sifted plain flour
1/4 teaspoon sifted baking powder
185g chopped butter
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup fruit mince
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius, and grease 2 x 12 hole patty cake tins. (These are smaller than muffin tin holes, so if you don't have patty tins, you can use mini tart moulds.)
Put the sifted flour and baking powder into a bowl, and rub in the butter until it forms crumbs. Mix in the egg yolks and lemon juice to form a dough.
Knead the dough lightly, then divide it into two pieces, press each piece into a disc, and wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least half an hour.
Remove the dough from the fridge. Roll out half of the pastry to 3mm thickness, then using a 6.5cm round cutter, cut out 24 circles and place into the patty tins or tart moulds.
Put 2 teaspoons of fruit mince into each pie shell. Roll out the remainder of the dough to 5mm thick, and using a star or heart shaped cutter, cut out 24 shapes and use these to top the pies. (I didn't have quite enough dough, so I topped 4 of my pies with leftover gingerbread dough.)
Brush the tops of the pies with the lightly beaten eggwhite, then bake the pies for 20 minutes or until golden. Leave the pies to cool in their tins; this is important because they are quite fragile due to the flaky nature of the pastry. To serve, remove the pies from their tins and dust with icing sugar.
Fruit mince pies are usually enjoyed as an afternoon tea treat with coffee or tea.
Hope your Christmas preparations are coming along nicely!