It's December and the month of mince pies.
If you want to impress your guests/colleagues/family with some homemade pastries this year, then this recipe from Tom Aiken, of Tom's Kitchen, is a surefire hit.
According to Aiken, it's best to leave the mince pie mixture to mature for one month, but it will still be delicious if used straight away.
This recipe is easy yet time-consuming, but that's what the brandy's for, right?
Christmas mince pies by Tom Aiken
Makes minimum 24
325g-cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped
115g shredded suet
115g sultanas and currants
115g mixed candied peel
150g soft dark brown sugar
Zest and juice of 1 lemon and orange
30g nibbed almonds
2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon
Large pinch fresh grated nutmeg
0.5g ground ginger
4 tbsp brandy
270g all-purpose flour
110g caster or powdered sugar
2 egg yolks
1 whole egg
Few drops vanilla essence
1. Mix all the ingredients together, except the brandy, in a bowl and leave in a cool place for 12 hours to marinade.
2. Place the mixture in a baking dish, cover with tin foil and bake for 2.5 to 3 hours at 140°c / 225°f.
3. Leave to cool stirring from time to time and then stir in the brandy.
4. Spoon the cooled mixture into storage jars and cover with waxed discs and seal. This is then ready to use, however it’s best to leave it to mature for one month.
1. Sieve the flour and salt, put into a stand mixer and place on a low to medium speed, then add the butter mix till crumb like. Add the sugar then eggs and yolks, it will slowly come together, then refrigerate for 1 hour.
2. Roll the dough out between two sheets of parchment to a 0.5cm thickness, then let it rest for 10 minutes. Cut out 48 pieces with a round cutter, you need the tops to be medium and the bottoms to be large.
3. Make the mince pies in either small Yorkshire pudding moulds or tartlet cases. Lightly grease the moulds/cases then flour. Line with the pastry then add the mince pie mix. Place on the lid, crimp the edges and bake at 180°c /375°f for about 10-15 minutes, dust with icing sugar.