Cranberry & Mince Pies

Mmmm a true festive treat…with a little additional fruity twist…cranberry sauce!

Now anyone who knows me, is aware of the fact that I LOVE a good bargain! From my school frocks that total £3.50, thank you ASDA, to the various ‘whoops’ items in the chilled cabinet and the Christmas decorations I now buy on Boxing Day for the following year at 75% discount.  Old?! Me?! No! Just wise hehe!  Anyhoo…the way this tenuous rant links to mince pies is simple.  Sainsbury’s like to sell off mincemeat after Christmas for silly prices as they’d rather not have it sat around.  Surely it’s out of date soon you cry!  Nope, this massive tub I purchased for only 40p last December (2012) doesn’t run out of date until May 2014!!!  What’s more, being the amazing product it is, it lasts 6weeks once opened, so as a result I didn’t even open it until 2 weeks ago at the Tynemouth Christmas Shopping Night where I baked Mincemeat Macaroons for charity at Ruby & Frank and still had SHED LOADS of the mincemeat left.These mincey spies are a bit different as they have a secret little cranberry morsel on the bottom of each…you know I hate to follow the rules and want to add a twist to things. So along with the yummy cranberry infused base, they have a spicey icing sugar dusting for true Christmassy factor!  Give them a whirl and why not try your own unqiue base…perhaps marzipan?!

Ingredients

  • 225g plain flour
  • 150g Stork
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • milk to mix (about 4tbsp)
  • 275g mincemeat
  • cranberry sauce – about 1/4 of a jar
  • icing sugar and cinnamon for dusting

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200degrees or 180 fan.
  • Grease a 12 hole cupcake tin and another 6 holes in another tin.

Get your ingredients prepared as this all happens a bit quickly!

Rub the stork and flour together to resemble breadcrumbs – a messy task!

Look at that lovely breadcrumb-like texture

Add your almonds and icing sugar to the breadcrumbs – mix with your fingertips

Add your egg yolk – splat!

Add milk to form a stiff mix – use a fork to do this

Wrap in clingfilm…

…and pop in the fridge…overnight if possible

  • If you haven’t got time to leave overnight then 30mins will be adequate…I made mine the night before to save some of my Sunday lounging time :)

Flour a work board or surface and roll out to 1cm thick

Cut out using a 3inch cutter…this looks big but will do the job perfectly

Gently push in to the cases so they get in to the corners

Once they’re all filled set aside whilst you get your fillings ready

Meanwhile, with the leftover pastry get creative with your topping…i’ve gone for frolicking deers in the woods :)

Now for a unique twist…cranberry base!

One teaspoon of sauce per pie will be perfectimundo!

Now for the mincemeat…place generous spoonfuls in…there’s nowt worse than a half filled mincey spy!

All filled and ready for jazzy, festive tops!

Carefully place your tops on…trees and deer…mmmm a babysham would be apt now methinks

  • Now place in the oven on a shelf just above the centre for 14mins – if you are doing 2 batches (or 18pies) then do this in two oven sessions.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10mins before removing…

They should be golden brown and ever so slightly risen

Transfer to a cooling rack…

Now for a festive twist…add some icing sugar and cinnamon to a sprinkler and shake over the pies.

Dust with the icing sugar-cinnamon mix and serve!

I needn’t tell you that eating these beauties whilst warm is a real taste sensation, but if you’re taking them to work or distributing them to friends – like me, then leave to cool fully before popping in to a tin.

Not bad for a Sunday morning baking session.  Apologies for my absence, I must make a new year resolution to blog more!!

Much baking love

ZoBird xxx

 

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