Saturday, 18 December 2010

mince pies many ways

... as you know, i had great plans to make my own mincemeat this year but you see life just has a habit of getting in the way... and just as I was feeling guilty... (that's Christmas blog guilt to you and I dear friends).... suddenly two amazing things happened...

... one, I took a trip to Fortnum and Mason in Piccadilly, which quite frankly has to be the MOST Christmassy place in the whole world and is sure to put you in the Christmas spirit even if your heart is the size of a shrivelled sultana covered in ice, and discovered their mini mince pies which have lemon and orange peel in their pastry crust...

...and two, I discovered Marks and Spencer Chocolate Mincemeat... oh yes, you read the right... CHOCOLATE mincemeat... need I say more?!?

... now i've gone a little crazy here because I wanted to make traditional mince pies but also wanted to try my hand at a couple of other ideas i'd seen over the years... one is a mince pie topped with a light coconut macaroon topping... and the other is a rolled 'strudel' style pie, inspired by my mum's regular strudel.

... ive also gone pastry crazy and done two types of sweet shortcrust... one with the grated lemon and orange zest and one chocolate shortcrust, with cocoa powder sprinkled in,  just in case you don't get the full chocolate hit from the mincemeat... you simply make a regular sweet shortcrust pastry and add the extra ingredients before you add the water... simple.

... we also have a carol service at our local church tomorrow and I thought i'd take these with me for some festive pre-singing fun... Christmas has well and truly arrived!


  1. There are never too many ways to make your mince pies ... or pastry ... or in fact the mince meat. These look great Dom ;0)

  2. I love the bountiful Christmasyness (!) of your plate of mince pies ... yummmmm.

    Any chance of the macaroon topping recipe, it looks amazing.

  3. I need to do some research. Some how I think your mincemeat is different than our mincemeat in America. I have never made fresh and usually see a lot of jarred mincemeat around Thanksgiving. Ours is tasty and fruity. Your little pies look delicious.

  4. Okay ... I will say it! I just love you and your Christmas spirit, Dom! And yes, I agree with our mutual friend at From Beyond ... I think our American mincemeat is different from the Brit version ... ours is green tomato, apple, orange, and raisin based ... does the Brit version have the real deal ...aka meat? I've often thought I should make real mincemeat with some of the venison coming through the back door, but I don't have a pressure cooker and that is crucial for real mincemeat.

  5. Chocolate mincemeat!!! Why didn't someone tell me sooner?

    Your range of pies looks fantastic Dom. I'm going to try orange zest in the pastry for mine, this year.

  6. hey all, thanks for the kind words...

    @ Susan and FBMKW I believe that traditionally mince meat was indeed made with meat but like the humble Yorkshire Pudding in reverse the mince pie has gone from a savoury dish to a sweet dish... our version usually contains a selection of currants, saltanas, raisins, apple, candied peel, some kind of nut and suet, either vegetable of beef based depending on your vegetarianism... oh and usually brandy...

    anyway, tastes amazing!

    @ BVG, sorry I was being lazy, here's the recipe for the coconut macaroon topping although I was very loose about it really and just whisked 2 egg whites to firm peaks... added some sugar and coconut and then dolloped it on top...

  7. Looks like you have caught on the christmas festive mood! Love the look of those pies! Hope you have a beautiful weekend.

  8. My Mum who is 87 has a memory of being given a mince pie as a child by her grandmother and it was the original sort with meat in it, which means mince pies were still being made that way in Lincolnshire in the 1920s. They also had frumety at Christmas - a sort of porridge made with barley - I tried to recreate it the other week - not very nice. Your mince pies Dom on the other hand look truly wonderful -I need to go to M&S for chocolate mincemeat immediately...

  9. YUMMY!!!! Merry Christmas Dom


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