Port and Cranberry Mince Pies


Makes : 12

Ingredients

1x 454g jar homemade cranberry and port mincemeat

Sweet Pastry:

350g plain flour plus a little extra for dusting

175g cold butter diced

85g caster sugar

4-6 tablespoons water, to mix Or

2 x 375g blocks ready-made sweet short-crust pastry

2-3 tablespoons milk for the pastry tops

Icing sugar for dusting

Cranberry and Port Mincemeat (makes 4 x 454g jars)

225g dessert apples

Zest and juice 1 lemon

Zest and juice 1 orange

225g raisins

225g sultanas

225g currants

115g semi-dried cranberries

55g ground almonds

225g soft brown sugar

220g shredded vegetable suet

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon mixed spice

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

200ml Boplaas port wine

4 x 454g jam jars with screw-on lids, sterilized


Method

To make the mincemeat:

Peel, core and dice the apples finely. Place into a medium sized bowl and mix with the citrus juice and zest. Add all the remaining mincemeat ingredients and combine well.

Spoon the mixture into the sterilized glass jam jars, packing down well to remove any air and put on the lids. Store the jars in the refrigerator, leaving for a minimum of 12 hours or overnight before using. Stored mincemeat will keep for 2-3 weeks.

To make the pastry:

Sieve the flour into a bowl; add the diced butter and rub the mixture together using your finger tips until it resembles breadcrumbs.

Stir in the sugar. Add the water, a little at a time, and bring the ingredients together until a dough ball is formed.

Handle the pastry as little as possible or the butter may begin to melt making it difficult to work with. Wrap the pastry in plastic wrap and rest in a cool place for 30-45 minutes.

To make the pies:

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas Mark 6.

Dust a work surface and a rolling pin with some flour. Roll out the pastry to approximately 4-5 mm thick. Cut 12 larger circles with an 88 mm and 12 smaller circles with a 78 mm fluted edged pastry cutter, re-rolling the pastry for the last few.

Line the bun cups with the larger pastry circle circles allowing the edges to stand proud. Add 1 tablespoon of mincemeat to each. Brush the edges of the smaller pastry circles with a little water, place them on top of the filing and press the pastry edges together to seal.

Make two or three steam holes in each pie top and brush lightly with milk.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly golden.

Allow to cool for a few minutes before removing from the tin and dusting with some icing sugar.