Mince Pies with Brandy Cream

This recipe is one that I had to look for online, because I didn’t have the first idea of where to start on my own. Being the avid Great British Baking Show fan that I am, I naturally sought out Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood’s recipes first. Prue’s mince pies have a beautiful lattice on the top of them that looks delicate and crumbly, and I’m sure would no doubt be delicious, but I’m partial to a more contained mince pie.

Paul Hollywood’s mince pies, on the other hand, are fully contained with a proper top on them, which is what I was hoping to find. The recipe you’ll find below is an adaptation on this recipe by Paul Hollywood. In particular, my recipe calls for organic vegetable shortening (make sure to find one with NO hydrogenated oils in it) in place of butter so that the mincemeat flavors really stand out.

To begin, get out a large mixing bowl and combine the shortening and flour and rub together until they’ve combined and are nice and crumbly. Add the caster sugar and 1 egg and mix until combined. If you aren’t able to find caster sugar, since it’s rarely used outside of Europe, it’s easy to make your own by pulsing regular cane sugar in a food processor or by grinding it to a fine powder using a mortar and pestle.

Lightly flour your worktop and knead the dough by hand until the pastry begins to come together, being very careful not to overwork the dough or it won’t have that delicate crumble that we want to achieve. Once the dough is ready, wrap in saran wrap and put into the refrigerator to chill while you put together the filling.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the entire jar of mincemeat, the diced apples, zest, and the pieces of mandarin orange, and mix until thoroughly combined. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Roll out the dough to 3mm thick, or about the size of a typical men’s wedding band. You don’t want it too thin or the mincemeat filling won’t stay contained within the pie. On the other hand, if it’s too thick, it won’t cook properly and it will be a claggy pie without the right ratio of crust-to-filling.

Using a round cookie cutter with smooth edges about 6 inches in diameter, cut out 16 bases and tuck them into the wells of a muffin tin or tins. Put 1½ Tbsp mincemeat mixture into each. Brush the edge of each pie crust with a little beaten egg so that the tops will seal well to the sides of the crust.

Now, re-roll out the pastry to cut lids with a round cookie cutter with fluted edges about 2 1/2-3 inches in diameter and press them onto the pies. Make sure to press down firmly on the edges to seal them, and sprinkle the tops with the extra caster sugar.

Bake for 15-20 mins until golden brown. Remove from the oven and place the pan or pans on a trivet(s) to cool fully before releasing them from the muffin tins and dusting with a tad of powdered sugar.

Just before you’re ready to serve the mince pies, whip the heavy cream and powdered sugar on high until soft peaks form. Quickly fold in the brandy until combined, being careful not to be too vigorous or you will deflate the cream.

Once the mince pies are fully cooled, remove them from the muffin tin and dust them with a tad of powdered sugar before serving with a dollop brandy cream on top.

Mince Pies

Adapted from Paul Hollywood’s Mince Pie recipe
Fragrantly spiced mincemeat inside a deliciously melt-in-your-mouth short crust pastry.
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Cool Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Servings 16

Equipment

  • muffin tin or two depending on how large your tins are

Ingredients
  

Mince Pies

  • 1 large jar (about 600g) mincemeat
  • 1 mandarin orange peel, zested
  • 2 mandarin oranges, peeled and chopped into small pieces
  • 2 apples, finely chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 cup organic vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar (or fine cane sugar, which can be made by pulsing regular cane sugar in a food processor), plus extra for sprinkling on top at the end
  • 1 large egg, beaten separately

Brandy Cream

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2-3 Tbsp powdered sugar, sifted
  • 3 Tbsp brandy

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl, combine the flour and shortening. Rub the two together until they combine to form a crumb consistency.
  • Add the sugar and 1 egg, and mix together until combined.
  • Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it until the pastry comes together, but be careful not to over mix it or the pastry will become dense.
  • Wrap the dough in saran wrap and chill for 10 mins in the refrigerator.
  • Scoop the entire jar of mincemeat out into a medium-sized bowl and add the apples, mandarin oranges, and zest. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  • Preheat the oven to 425 °F. Roll out the dough to 3mm thick, or about the size of a typical men's wedding band.
  • Using a round cookie cutter with smooth edges about 6 inches in diameter, cut out 16 bases and tuck them into the wells of a muffin tin or tins. Put 1½ Tbsp mincemeat mixture into each. Brush the edge of each pie crust with a little beaten egg.
  • Re-roll out the pastry to cut lids with a round cookie cutter with fluted edges about 2 1/2-3 inches in diameter and press them onto the pies and press down on the edges to seal them. Sprinkle the tops with the extra caster sugar.
  • Bake for 15-20 mins until golden brown. Leave to cool fully before releasing them from the muffin tin.
  • Once the mince pies are fully cooled, remove them from the muffin tin and dust them with a tad of powdered sugar
  • Just before you're ready to serve the mince pies, whip the heavy cream and powdered sugar on high for a few minutes until soft peaks form. Then, quickly fold in the brandy until combined, being careful not to be too vigorous or you will deflate the cream. Serve the mince pies with a dollop of brandy cream on top.
Keyword British, British food, Christmas, Mince Pies, Mincemeat, Paul Hollywood, Pie

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