Christmas Baking: Fruit Mince Pies

Why pay R16 or more for 6 fruit mince pies (that may or may not have been baked weeks ago) when these don't take a whole lot of effort and are ready in an hour?

This is a general shortcrust recipe I use for most pies.

4c flour
1 tsp salt
2c butter / margarine
50ml sugar (optional - I left it out because I made enough pastry to do savoury pies too)
1c ice water (you may need up to 2c, some flours absorb more than others)
1 Tbs lemon juice (if you use more water, just squirt some lemon juice into the extra water before adding)

Sift the flour and salt.  Shave in the butter/marg - saves on trying to crumble large blocks of it, but make sure it's cold when you do so and use a sharp knife.

Using a fork, mash the butter up into the flour to form a crumbly mix.

Mix the ice water and lemon juice - if you're adding sugar, mix that in too.

Add a bit at a time to the dry ingredients, mixing with the fork until it all clings together but isn't too wet.

Dust your work surface with flour, tip out the pastry mix, dust with more floor and start rolling out.  I use a half-broomstick handle, which by the way doubles up as my pasta roller thanks to an Italian tannie who showed me how to do so years ago.

Roll the pastry out to a couple of millimetres thick.

Use a round cookie cutter just a bit larger than whatever muffin pans you have lying around to cut rounds out of the pastry.

Give the muffin pans a squirt of non-stick spray, place the pastry rounds in them so there's a slight lip at the edges.

Drop a teaspoon of fruit mince mix into the centre of each.

From some of your leftover pastry, use a star shaped cookie cutter to cut out one star per pie.

Stick these on top of the fruit mince - no need to press them down.

Bake at 180C until nice and golden-brown, around 20 minutes.

When done, remove from their pans and dust liberally with caster sugar.

Allow to cool, and then munch away.  Try to keep the boys away from them before you get a chance to have any... :-)


craniac said...

Mela also bakes ours with shortcrust pastry she makes from scratch. Our family has our own filling though that comes from pies my mother used to bake. She used to use the frozen puff pastry but we prefer the shortcrust pastry. Our filling is not fruit mince straight from the jar but a 50:50 mix of fruit mince and chopped tinned pie apples to which I add a healthy splash of whisky.

Michelle said...

I usually stretch the fruit mince by grating in an apple - just didn't have the time or urge to this year. I have yet to actually make fruit mince from scratch, although Safari's seems to get less fruit and more filler each year...

Kel said...

Ooh, mr x would love these