Gather’s Mince Pies
Tis the season to be jolly…and indulge in some of our favourite festive treats!
The humble mince pie, which was once known as ‘minched pie’ or ‘shrid pie’ was traditionally a main course dish which was oblong in shape and contained minced meat and fruits. During the Victorian era, the pies became sweeter and shrunk in size to what we now recognize as the Christmas food staple.
Luckily for our Gather guests, our Patisserie Chef at Gather and baking superstar, Connie, is handmaking mince pies throughout the whole of December.
Made with homemade pastry and mincemeat, Connie’s pies are the perfect way to get into the festive spirit and celebrate Christmas.
Below is Connie’s take on a classic mince pie recipe. So we don’t give all of her secrets away, the recipe below uses jar bought mincemeat but we have also included how to add an extra Christmas twist.
Connie’s Mince Pie Recipe:
Makes : 16 mince pies
Cooking time: 15 – 20 minutes
Equipment needed: muffin tray with space for 16, rolling pin, large cookie cutter, smaller Christmas cutter, mixer (not essential) and a pastry brush
375g plain flour
260 softened butter
125g caster sugar
1 orange zest
600g good quality mincemeat
1 egg yolk for glazing
Optional for mincemeat
Finely chopped apple
Finely chopped stem ginger
Splash of brandy or Sherry
Orange juice (can be taken from the zested orange)
1. With you finger tips or a low setting on your mixer mix the flour and softened butter until it resembles bread crumbs
2. Add the sugar, egg and orange zest and combine until a dough forms. Don’t worry if there’s still small lumps of butter, this will melt while cooking and makes the pastry lovely and flaky!
3. Place the dough on a floured surface and roll into a ball. Clingfilm this and chill for 30 minutes. This can be kept in the fringe over night or until needed
4. Meanwhile prepare you mincemeat! Empty the jar of mincemeat into a bowl and add a selection of the optional ingredients above, my favourite is to add stem ginger and brandy!
5. Grease the holes of your muffin tin and set aside
6. Remove the dough from the fridge and place on a floured surface, if it’s been chilled for over 30 minutes it might need a little time to soften before rolling. Split the dough and roll to the width of a pound coin
7. Use the large round cutter to cut 16 discs in the pastry, place these over the holes in the muffin tins, gently push these into the holes, taking care not tear the pastry
8. Spoon your mincemeat into the pastry and keep it in line with the top. The mincemeat can bubble up while cooking and it can get a little difficult to get them out of the tin if they’re too full
9. Using the smaller cutter in which ever shape you’ve chosen, cut out 12 shapes and place these on top of the pies pressing gently at the edges so they don’t rise off while cooking. Brush these with egg yolk
10. Cook your mince pies at 200 degrees in a fan oven for 15-20 minutes or until they are golden brown
11. Once out of the oven sprinkle with caster sugar and allow to cool slightly before using a knife to prise them out of the tin and onto a wire rack to cool
Tip: A homemade mince pie is best enjoyed with a dollop of rum or brandy butter and a glass of mulled wine!