These truly are luxury mince pies to die for! They are not like the traditional mince pies, but have a modern feel about them. I first found this recipe as I was watching Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Special on TV a couple of years ago. Jamie was making mince pies with Gennaro Contaldo. I liked the look of Jamie’s modern mince pies, so I thought that I will treat my co-workers with homemade mince pies and mulled wine. They just loved the mince pies! And I have been making them each Christmas since. First I used to use a luxury mince that I bought from M&S, but this year I ventured even further and made the mincemeat myself. Again I had been glued to TV watching Nigella Lawson’s Christmas Special and loved the idea of her boozy mincemeat. Everybody at my work agrees that this year’s mince pies were the best ever.
Jamie and Nigella Mash-up Mince Pies
Nigella’s boozy cranberry-studded mincemeat
Makes: around 600 g mincemeat
Preparation time approximately: 1 hour
75g dark brown sugar
300g fresh cranberries
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cloves
30g dried cranberries
1 clementine, zest and juice
a few drops almond extract
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp honey
In a large pan, dissolve the sugar in the port over a gentle heat.
Add the fresh cranberries and stir.
Add the cinnamon, ginger and cloves, currants, raisins, dried cranberries and the zest and juice of the clementine.
Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 15 minutes, or until the fruit has broken down and has absorbed most of the liquid in the pan. (You may need to squish the cranberries a little with the back of a wooden spoon to incorporate them fully.) The cranberries will make popping sounds when they soften.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little.
Add the brandy, almond extract, vanilla extract and honey. Stir well with a wooden spoon to mash the mixture down into a paste.
Spoon the mincemeat into sterilised jars and, once cool, store in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Jamie’s New Mince Pies (modified from original)
Makes: 24 individual mince pies
Preparation time approximately: 45min plus cooking time
200g Nigella’s boozy cranberry-studded mincemeat
35g dried cranberries, chopped
100 g dried apricots, chopped
zest of 2 clementines
juice of 1 clementine
1 tbsp brandy
flour, to dust
250g puff pastry
1 pack filo pastry
100g melted butter
1 egg, beaten
50g flaked almonds
icing sugar, to dust
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400ºF. Scoop the mincemeat into a mixing bowl and mix in the dried berries and apricots, the clementine zest and juice and the brandy.
Dust a clean work surface with flour and roll out the puff pastry into a big rectangle about 20x40cm and the thickness of a pound coin. Or buy ready-made sheets of puff pastry – easy!
Thinly spread the mincemeat over the pastry, leaving a 1cm gap around the edges. Tightly roll up the pastry lengthways. Place it on a floured tray, and put into the fridge to firm up.
Take two cupcake trays (for 12 cupcakes each) and butter each one lightly with the melted butter. Place one layer of filo pastry over the tray (you may need more than one sheet to cover each tray depending on the size of the sheets) and ease the pastry into each hole. Brush with the melted butter, then cover with a second layer of filo pastry. Brush with butter again. Do not worry if the filo pastry breaks. You can cover the breaks up with the next layer.
Take the puff pastry roll out of the fridge and with a sharp knife cut it into 24 slices. Place each slice, flat side down, into a filo-lined hole. Brush with the egg and sprinkle a few flaked almonds on top of each little pie, then put both trays in the oven for about 25-30 minutes, until cooked and golden brown.
Leave to cool, then crack the individual pies out of the trays. Dust with a little icing sugar before serving.
Original mincemeat recipe from Nigella Lawson / Nigella’s Christmas Kitchen
Original mince pie recipe from Jamie Oliver