Apparently, there are those that walk among us who don’t like mince pies. I know, Kanye cray, right? I love them, they are Christmas as far as I’m concerned – fruity, fragrant, flaky little friends that turn up every December, spreading festive cheer. That said, on top of my usual batch this year, I thought I’d try something altogether more French in an attempt to convert the haters. Inspired by a mince pie truffle that I devoured the other week, my chocolate mince pies are made with an orange sweet pastry, a traditional mincemeat filling and topped with swirls of milk chocolate ganache. Ooh la la!
- 200g plain flour
- 50g caster sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 125g softened, unsalted butter
- 2g salt
- a few drops of vanilla extract
- zest of 1 satsuma / clementine
- a jar of good quality mincemeat
- 200g milk chocolate
- 200ml double cream
- icing sugar for dusting
you will need – a 12 hole muffin tin, a fluted cookie cutter and a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle (D7).
- Pastry first. Cream together the butter and sugar with a whisk until light and fluffy. Mix a few drops of vanilla extract into the beaten egg before adding this, and the zest of a clementine, to the butter in two inclusions. Don’t worry if it looks like scrambled eggs at this point, it’s meant to. Sieve in the flour and salt and bring the pastry together in the bowl. Turn the pastry out and using the heel of your hand, push it away from you and then bring it back together again, repeat this 4-5 times max. The pastry will feel very soft and smooth. At this point, wrap it in cling film and allow it to chill in the fridge for at least half an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 190°C / Gas Mark 5. When the pastry has hardened up in the fridge, roll it out on a floured surface to a thickness of about ½ cm and cut out the pie cases using a fluted cutter. Place the pastry discs directly into the muffin tray and fill them all with a heaped teaspoon of mincemeat. Bake the pies for 10-15mins then allow them to cool on a wire rack.
- While the pies are cooling, melt the chocolate gently in a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water and then heat the cream in a separate pan until it is steaming but not boiling. Remove from the heat and add the cream to the chocolate in three inclusions, stirring constantly. The ganache will need to chill now until it is thick and holding its shape. You can always pop it in the fridge to speed things along, just keep an eye on it and stir it every now and again as it chills.
- When you are happy with the consistency, pipe the ganache in peaked swirls on top of the pies and finish them off with a dusting of icing sugar.
- The Best Pastry for Mince Pies! (keepingmumtodaytonighttomorrow.wordpress.com)
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- Mince pies with chocolate and orange (bakesbyella.wordpress.com)
- Almond and honey crusted mince pies. (appletreechef.wordpress.com)
- 5 Ways With Mince Pies (thefinchsbeak.wordpress.com)