When we lived in England a few years ago we were fortunate to spend December there and get to know all the nice English baking traditions. One that we really fell in love with were Mince Meat Pies. As a vegetarian I was first really scared to try them, but once I realized that it only consists of fruit nowadays and no longer real meat, I tried them and I really liked them.
During our stay in the UK, those little pies became quite normal for us so once we were back in the Netherlands back than, we actually started to miss them during Christmas time. So since than I try to make them each year. In specialty shops I have found some pre-made mince meat, but honestly I didn’t like them so much. A few years back I stumpled upon a recipe from Nigella Lawson using fresh cranberries. I was sold.
Unfortunately, cranberries are very hard to get around here, so when I saw some I had to take them thinking of this amazing mince meat. I adapted the recipe slightly, mainly using less alcohol and making it a bit more fruity. I hope you will like my little ones, I baked them in a mini muffin tray. I think the size is just perfect to pop them straight into your mouth. I took them to a work party and they all liked it!
Christmas is almost there and I am already counting the days until I will see my family again. I hope you will have a great Christmas time with your loved ones,
- 200ml Orange Juice
- 50ml Lemon Juice
- 80g Dark Brown Sugar, soft
- 200g fresh Cranberries
- 1 Tsp Cinnamon
- 1/2 ground Ginger
- 1 Tsp Cloves
- 1 Tsp Orange Zest
- 125g Candied Orange and Lemon Peel
- 150g Raisins
- 50g dried Cranberries
- 30ml Brandy
- 2 Tbsp Honey
- 140g Flour
- 25g Icing Sugar
- 110g Butter, cold and cut in cubes
- 3 Tsp Water, cold
- 0.5 Tsp Lemon Juice
- Dissolve the brown sugar in the orange and lemon juice
- Add the fresh cranberries and cook over medium heat until the berries start to pop open.
- Add the spices and the dried fruits and cook over low heat for about 15-20 minutes until the mixture starts to thicken.
- If some of the cranberries are still whole, squeeze them with your spoon to get a uniform mixture.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the brandy and honey.
- Store the mixture in an air-tight container in the fridge or use immediately after cooled.
- Start by sifting the flour and icing sugar together in a bowl
- Add the cubes of cold butter and either by hand or using a kitchen machine quickly knead in the butter until you get small crumbles
- Add the water and lemon juice and quickly bring the dough together, don't overwork it!
- Wrap it in clingfilm and chill it for one hour in the fridge
- Roll the dough out on a floured surface and cut out small circles (5 cm). Place them in a floured mini muffin tray. Cut some leaves, stars or snow flakes out and store in the fridge until you will use them.
- Fill the pastries with 1 tsp of the cranberry mince meat and place the pastry leaves or stars on top.
- Place in a pre-heated oven at 180°C and bake for about 15 minutes or until golden.