Filling your home with the heady aromas of orange, mixed spice and rum evokes Christmas spirit and merryment. Homemade mince pies are are joy to make and a world apart from the cloyingly sweet supermarket versions. Allowing your mincemeat plenty of time to mature is key to it all.
It will keep well in sealed jars, but don't forget you can use mincemeat in countless ways - mixed into icecream, spread over puff pastry, or baked in a crumble.
250g vegetarian suet
125g fruit peel
250g soft demerara sugar
Zest of 1 orange
Zest of 1 lemon
50ml fruit juice – apple and orange
110ml of dark rum
8g mixed spice
180g - 1 large apple grated
At Venus we make our own pastry but you could just use pre-bought shortcrust pastry.
Pastry needed 320g
Butter for greasing
1 egg, beaten
To make the mincemeat, simply combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Place the mixture in a sealed tub in the fridge and leave for as long as possible until the flavours have matured. Venus allows 8-10 weeks in the fridge to really enhance the flavours. A couple of days would be the minimum.
Preheat the oven to 160c fan. Now, roll out your pastry as thinly as possible. Cut it into rounds large enough to fill both your pastry cases and to make lids – the lids need to be smaller. Grease the pastry tin lightly with butter and line with the larger rounds of pastry. Fill each one with 75g of the mincemeat mixture. Brush one side of the smaller round with beaten egg and place on top of the pie, pushing down slightly to seal it with the lid. Brush each one with beaten egg. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until light golden brown.
Allow to cool on a wire tray and dust with icing sugar.