This recipe has been languishing in my computer now for almost a year. I had every intention of sharing it with you last November, but as life usually gets in the way of my best and well laid plans, that obviously never happened. Recently, as it turns out, I just so happened to remember that these photos and this recipe were still there patiently waiting for their day in the sun.
My memory is not as bad as I seem to think it is, thankfully. Yay for that! It’s a small victory and I’m gonna take it for exactly that. I made these last year with the intention of sharing these at Holiday time because (lets be honest) if you are at all the type of person to indulge in a mince pie you are going to do it at then.
Mince pies in the States have gotten a bad rap. Along with fruitcake, there is this perception that mince pies are purely the purview of the silver-haired, senior generation. It’s old fashioned and for the longest time fashion-less reputation, have been for many, decidedly uncool. Not to mention it’s hazy and slightly stomach churning history that includes the addition of actual meat (at least in America anyway.)
Growing up we typically had our mince pie at both Christmas and Thanksgiving. Usually they were prepared lovingly by my Mom or Grandmother as a large, whole pie. After being introduced to mince pies the way they are most commonly consumed around the world, (in small mini form) I was hooked. Mince pie is rich, no doubt, so consuming it in small bite sized portions is for me, the perfect method.
This recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Nigella Christmas is the perfect recipe for dipping your toes into the mince pie world if you are at all curious but still slightly unsure about the whole thing. It’s also a great and perfect fusion of the traditional British recipe with a New World spin that just works perfectly for Thanksgiving I think.
Recipe adapted from Nigella Christmas
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- Mini Cranberry Mince Pies
|30 mince pies|
- For the cranberry mince
- 1/4 C. port
- 1/4 C. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp. ground gloves
- 1/2 C. currants
- 1/2 C. raisins
- 1/4 C. dried cranberries
- zest of 1 orange
- 2 T. honey
- 2 T. bourbon
- 2 C. prepared cranberry relish
- For the crust:
- 1 2/3 C. flour
- 5 T. vegetable shortening diced
- 4 T. cold butter diced
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 C. orange juice
- In a large sauce pan combine the port and sugar over low heat. Stir until dissolved. Add the spices, and dried fruits along with the orange zest. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the fruits have softened.
- Remove from the heat, add the bourbon and honey, then the cranberry relish. Stir to combine and set aside to cool. Prepare the crust.
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, vegetable shortening, salt and the butter. Process just until pea sized chunks form.
- Slowly pulse the mixture while adding the orange juice. Continue to pulse until the juice has been incorporated and the dough begins to form a ball. If you need more liquid to get to this stage add an additional teaspoon of ice water until you reach the desired consistency.
- Remove from the work bowl and flatten dough into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Remove dough from the refrigerator and set aside to warm slightly. Roll dough thinly and cut into circles using a 2 1/2" cookie or biscuit cutter. This size works well for my mini muffin tins, but your's may be different so use a slightly larger or smaller size if necessary. Lightly oil just the top portion of your mini muffin tin to prevent sticking. Use a shot glass or a mini tart tamper to gently easy the dough into the well of your mini muffin tins. Fill the tin with the pastry rounds, then add no more than 1 teaspoon of cranberry mince filling to each well. If you add any more you run the risk of it bubbling over and being difficult to remove from the pan.
- Roll the remainder of the dough thinly and using a small star cutter, (aprox. 2" in diameter) cut enough stars to fit the top of each tart. Place the pan in the refrigerator while your oven preheats.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Once hot, place your muffin tin on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the crust just begins to brown.
- Remove from the oven and let the pies sit for no more than 5 minutes. Carefully remove the pies and let them finish cooling on a wire rack. Cool your tin completely before finishing the remainder of the recipe. Dust with confectioners sugar or serve with brandy butter.