WWW. How hard are mince pies?

Not very, unless you overbake them. :p

But, in all seriousness, this English classic is very easy to make at home and absolutely delicious.

My own recipe is a secret, which is secret, will be kept secret and not be secretly or discreetly disclosed.

Best Simple Mince Pie Recipe 0

However the general outline of how I make mince pies is free for anyone to experiment with.

You will need:

  • 500g raisins or sultanas
  • 500g mixed dried fruit (preferably including candied peel)
  • 500ml applesauce
  • cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves to taste
  • 500g flour
  • 1 egg
  • 300g butter
  • water
  • 1 beaten egg
  • sugar for dusting
  • rolling pin
  • greased/nonstick tart/muffin tray
  • mixing bowls

Recipe:

  1. Mix the dried fruit, applesauce and spices together. Add around 50-200g of sugar if you think the mix isn’t sweet enough.
  2. Rest the mix as long as possible. Overnight or 12h is fine, but 48h allows for some real richness.
  3. Best Simple Mince Pie Recipe 1
  4. Make a thick, stretchy pastry mix with the flour, egg, butter and a little water. Chill for 30-60min before use.
  5. Best Simple Mince Pie Recipe 2
  6. Preheat the oven to 160C or 180C fan.
  7. Roll out the pastry at least 1/8 of an inch for small (tart tray) pies and 1/4 of an inch for deep fill (muffin tray) pies. I made the mistake of using 1/8 inch pastry for both and the deep fill ones were not as excellent.
  8. Cut circles for the base. Push them into the grooves in the tray.
  9. Fill your pies, leaving a bit of a rim of pastry visible.
  10. Brush the rim with beaten egg before adding circles of pastry for the top.
  11. Brush the whole pie with egg and sprinkle granulated sugar on top.
  12. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the tops are golden and crumble juuust a little bit when pressed.
  13. Remove from trays and fully chill.
  14. Serve with wine or custard.

Best Simple Mince Pie Recipe 3

Best Simple Mince Pie Recipe 4

And feel free to mix and match the recipe! My own mix has another two to three ingredients and a specific spice balance. Jon normally despises mince pies, yet these ones received a 6/8 (an honourable 7 as he doesn’t like most mince pies). And friends and family seem happy enough with them too. Find your own perfect balance to enjoy!

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

WWW. Rhubarb&Apple Crumble, Mascarpone Sauce.

The best main and best pudding we had this week! The crumble is a lower sugar twist on a classic and the mascarpone sauce is so easy, you won’t believe it!

Mascarpone Sauce.

If you’ve never made a rich and creamy tomato sauce from scratch, this is amazingly rewarding.

Ingredients:

(Serves 6-8.)

-1kg/35oz chopped tomato

-80g/2.8oz mascarpone

-1 large onion

-3 cloves garlic

-1/2 a jalapeno chili

-butter or another cooking fat

-herbes de provence

-black pepper

-salt

-assorted vegetables

Utensils:

-chopping board and knife

-pot

Recipe:

1: Finely mince the onions and garlic. Fry in the fat.

2: Once browning, add the tomatoes and the herbs, bring to a boil and then turn down to reduce.

3: Once all the flavours have blended, add the mascarpone and chili.

4: Simmer.

5: Chop your vegetables and cook them in the sauce.

The one pictured is with broccoli, savoy cabbage and parsnip. I topped mine with hard boiled eggs and Jon topped his with peppered fried mince and bacon.

Mascarpone1

We actually enjoyed it so much that I recently made another one, with olive oil, red onion, loads of red peppers, some green pepper, mushrooms, broccoli stem and butternut squash. I absolutely recommend that one, as the butternut squash melts into the sauce, thickening it even more and the sweet peppers make it unbelievably sweet contrasted with the spice of the chili. An amazing burst of flavour.

Apple and Rhubarb Crumble.

An old classic I made almost properly.

Ingredients:

(Serves 4-6.)

-2 large stalks of rhubarb

-1 large cooking apple

-60g/2oz flour

-60g/2oz butter or another fat

-20g/0.7oz palm sugar, honey, molasses sugar or maple syrup

-cinnamon

Utensils:

-chopping board and knife

-mixing bowl

-baking tray

Recipe:

1: Remove all leaf from the rhubarb (poisonous!) and the core from the apple. Clean your chopping board to be on the safe side.

2: Cut the rhubarb into small segments and the apple into similarly sized cubes. Place in the tray.

3: In the bowl, mash the fat, flour and sugar with your fingers until golden crumbs are formed.

4: Sprinkle over the apple and rhubarb. Bake at 200C/390F until crisp on top.

5: Dust with cinnamon and serve.

Crumble

And those were our favourite main meal and pudding this past week!

What have you been cooking? What was the best thing you ate all week?

TTFN and Happy Hunting!