“A mince pie is a fruit-based sweet pie of British origin that is traditionally served during the Christmas season in the English-speaking world. Its ingredients are traceable to the 13th century, when returning European crusaders brought with them Middle Eastern recipes containing meats, fruits and spices.” (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mince_pie)
While you can put minced meat such as lamb, beef and chicken in the sweet fruit pie, this recipe is one of the most common types that is prepared using pure mixed fruit alone.. I have seen these pies being sold in Singapore supermarkets for the last few years together with all the other imported Christmas goodies such as panettone, chocolates and etc.. There is one year I bought a packet of 4 but I can hardly finished as it is overly sweet and the spices used just does not suit my taste buds.
I have Google many recipes and have come to my own recipe which I think will suit the taste buds of the readers in the region be it the sweetness and spices used… I have no regret of preparing these pies and they were well beyond my expectation. They taste so different from the one I have eaten many years ago. I do not and never claim that my recipe is authentic but I am confidence that my readers are able to accept this modified recipe.
If you do not like traditional fruit cake and you need to have some Christmassy feel , you can try to prepare this pies. It is definitely a good substitute and one bite will remind you of Christmas. To me my recipe has tone down lots of sugar and is just nice for my family, however, if you want you can still reduce 10% more sugar but do not forget that the crust is rather tasteless and this slightly sweetened shortbread crust just blend well with the fillings.
WHAT IS REQUIRED
Servings: About 12 minced fruit pies
- 250 grams of mixed fruits (Note a)
- 30 grams of butter
- 20 grams of plain flour
- 30 grams of fresh bread crumbs or biscuit crumbs
- 10 grams of chopped lemon peel or orange peel
- 40 grams of castor sugar or brown sugar
- 50 grams of cherry wine or brandy
- 50 grams or ml of orange juices
- 1 shredded green apple (optional)
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon of golden syrup (optional)
- 1 tablespoon of treacle or molasses (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon of mixed spice (basic mixture of cinnamon and nutmeg)
Note a – You can use equal weight of sultanas, dates, raisins, cherries and currants.
- 150 grams of cold butter, cut into small pieces
- 40 grams of icing sugar
- 300 grams of plain flour
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons of ice water
STEPS OF PREPARATION
- Melt the butter in the microwave oven or over the stove. When cooled, add the egg, molasses, golden syrup, orange juice and cherry wine. Stir until well mixed. In another mixing bowl, put all the dry ingredients on the bowl (mixed spices, sugar, mixed fruits, orange peel, plain flour and bread crumbs, shredded green apple (optional) or biscuit crumbs). Stir until well mixed.
- Add the liquid mixture and stir the ingredients until well combined.
- Transfer to a pan and bring to boil over the stove. Once it boils, reduce to the lowest heat and let it simmer until the fillings thicken. It is advisable that these fillings be prepared ahead of time even days before. The longer you prepared the fillings in advance, the moister and more flavourful will be the fillings. I have prepared this at least a week in advance but this is not necessary. However, I found that the fruits are very soft and moist that suits my taste buds. If you are out of time, once it is prepared, it can be use immediately.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree Celsius.
- Put the butter, flour and icing sugar on a food processor, blend until it forms a crumble form. Add the egg yolk followed by tablespoon by tablespoon of ice water. Blend until it forms a pliable dough. If you do not have a food processor, please refer to this post for hand rubbing method of short crust pastry preparation: Hong Kong Short Crust Pastry Egg Tarts (港式蛋挞）. If the dough is too soft, chill in the fridge for 20 minutes for it to be firmer before proceeding. If it is still very dry, add another teaspoon of ice water.
- Transfer the dough out to a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll it flat until about 5 mm flat. Use a 5 cm diameter round cutter to cut 12 pieces of pastries.
- Transfer the pastry to the muffin cups (small to medium size muffin tins) and press down the pastry following the shape of the muffin tins. Fill the muffin tins with minced fruits prepared earlier.
- Gather together the other dough and cut into the star shape that fits the muffin tin. Place a piece of the star pastry on top of the minced fruits.
- Egg wash the pastries (optional). For egg washing, crack one egg yolk, mixed with 1 tablespoons of water or milk, stir until well combined, sieve before application.
- Bake the minced fruit pies in the pre-heated oven of 180 degree Celsius for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
To me, this is a presentable Christmas gift and also a party snack. Preparation is really not so difficult. If you want to save more effort, you can always buy ready made pie crust to save your time .. Use this recipe as a guide and modify to become an unique filling of your own. Don’t worry, the error tolerance level of the filling recipe is rather high, a bit more or less will not ruin your filling. Lastly, if you have time, prepare it earlier and let the flavour developed over time.
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