MINCE PIES – Easily home-made!

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Recipe by Viva! 2016

mince-screen

INGREDIENTS

Pastry
350g plain flour
90g white vegetable fat
90g vegan margarine
Pinch of salt
2-3 tbsp cold water
Soya or almond milk to glaze

Filling
250g cooking apples
100g vegetable suet
200g raisins
100g currants
100g sultanas
200g dark muscovado sugar
1 orange
1 lemon
25g chopped mixed nuts
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp mixed spice
A pinch of ground nutmeg
3 tbsp brandy

DIRECTIONS

To prepare the pastry make sure to keep everything cool, including your hands.

Add the sieved flour, margarine, white fat, salt and water to a food processor. Give it a quick whizz – a couple of seconds.

Remove the lid and check the texture. If it looks like it will form a ball of pastry easily, remove. If not, add 1 tbsp water and whizz again. Too much water makes pastry hard, so go easy!

Remove, form into a ball and place in plastic bag. Wrap up and put in the fridge for 20-30 mins.

Pre-heat oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6. Grease tins.

Roll just over half of it to about 3mm thick.

Use each half to make 36 large circles and 36 smaller with cookie cutters. You will need to gather up pastry scraps and re-roll to make them all.

Line each hole with the larger pastry rounds. Fill each with filling – to just below the pastry edge.

Dampen each lid a little with cold water. Press them on top, sealing the edges. Cut out shapes.

Brush each one with a little soya milk. Using a knife or scissors, make 2 little snips on the top.

Bake in the oven for 20-25 mins until light golden brown. Cool and sprinkle with sieved icing sugar.

Store in an airtight container – they can be re-warmed before serving.

The filling should be made in advance so flavours can mature in jars.

Put the suet, dried fruit, sugar, nuts and spices into a large bowl.

Peel and core the apples and grate them. Add to the bowl.

Grate off the zest of the lemon and orange. Squeeze out their juice. Add both zest and juice to the bowl.

Cover the bowl and leave it in the fridge overnight.

The next day, preheat the oven to Gas Mark ½ or 120°C.

Transfer the mixture to a baking tray and bake for three hours.

Remove the tray from the oven and leave to cool. As it cools, occasionally stir in the fat so it coats the mixture.

Once fully cooled, stir in the brandy.

Sterilise some air-tight jars, fill with mince and seal. Store until ready to use.

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