Christmas Fruit Mince Pies
I have probably said this before, but I absolutely love Christmas.
I love the decorations, I love planning gifts for people, and more than anything I love the food.
Christmas this year will be a little different for me, seeing as I’m not planning on eating meat. But something that I can always rely on are the sweets. Gingerbread, shortbread, and fruit mince pies are the most enticing sweets of the year in my opinion!
So when my sister-in-law, Cassandra, invited me over for a day of baking, I jumped at the chance. She is renowned in our family to be amazing at baking – cakes, cookies, desserts – you name it! If she and my sister went into business I have no doubt there would be some very happy (and fat!) residents of Brisbane running around. The Fruit Mince Pies were absolutely the most simple things to make, so in the spirit of Christmas giving I thought I should do the right thing and share the recipe with you!
Christmas Fruit Mince Pies
Makes 24 – 36 pies.
Cass follows Bourke Street Bakery’s recipe for fruit cake to make her fruit mince (look at the section titled Christmas Fruit Boozy Soak). Of course, being the seasoned baker that she is, it wouldn’t have been the same if she didn’t throw in her own little twist. She really wanted the mince to have a bright, citrus taste, so she threw in some shaved orange peel to boot. Having pre-made her Christmas Fruit Mince a long while before (if you don’t do it weeks in advance don’t worry, it just won’t be as alcoholic) all I had to help Cass do was the dough for the outer crust, then make and bake the pies. She uses her mother-in-laws pie crust recipe – without too much differentiating. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
The crust is super easy.
Ingredients you will need:
Your fruit mince mix
180g of Butter (I never said these were healthy, did I?)
2/3 Cup Caster Sugar
3 Cups Plain Flour
1tsp Baking Powder
1 Egg (beaten for egg wash)
Extra Caster Sugar (for dusting the pies)
Equipment you will need:
Electric Beater/ Mixer
Baking Trays – we used 3 shallow baking pans
2 different sized round cookie cutters – a larger one for the base and a smaller one for the lid
Preheat your oven to 190°C.
Combine the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until creamed together.
Add the two eggs and mix well.
Add your flour and baking powder. Mix together well until a dough is formed.
Place dough onto a large piece of cling wrap and pat gently into the rough shape you will be rolling it into.
Wrap it in the remaining cling wrap and refrigerate for 1hr. Unlike bread dough, we want this dough to be really dense – hence the refrigeration!
While you’re waiting for the dough to rest, treat yourself to a little Christmas tipple (or in my case, cup of tea!). You deserve it after all your hard work so far!
After an hour, remove the dough and cut into three sections. Take the first section and, pressing it between two pieces of baking paper, roll out the dough until it is roughly 5mm thick. The baking paper solves the problem of having heaps of messy flour everywhere!
The trick with rolling dough, I now have been told, is to always roll out from the middle and never go all the way to the edges for a nice even edge.
Once you have rolled the dough, take your large cookie cutter and cut circles out of your dough, being very careful not to stretch it too much! Place these bases into your baking pan and press gently to form a cup shape.
We placed cut up strips of baking paper in each pan first as this makes it 10x easier to remove the pies once they’re cooked – all these little tid-bits that I now know!
Once you have your bases in, you can get filling with fruit mince! The amount is completely up to you, but we found approximately a table spoon worked for the size of the pies we were making.
Cut smaller circles for your tops, place them on and press around the edges to seal.
Cut a small whole in the top for steam to escape, baste with egg wash and dust with a small amount of sugar.
Repeat steps with the remaining two sections of dough.
And voila! Place in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes, depending on how brown you like them.
Now, I know it’s sooo tempting to do a taste test as soon as they come out of the oven – but I promise you, they will be hot! The insides will be absolutely steaming and all the yummy gooey fruit goodness will burn the skin right off your tongue if you’re too greedy!
I recommend enjoying a pie or two with a cup of tea or coffee.
Now that I know how easy it is to make these babies, I will pester Cassandra for them every year!
What Christmas baking are you doing this year?