Sunday 12 November 2017

My version of mince pies.

I like mince pies, at least I like homemade ones, but the pastry is sometimes a bit too thick, too thin, very crisp or quite soft.

More years ago than I care to remember I saw a recipe for a Date and Orange slice somewhere.
It was a crumble type mix that you pressed half into a tin then spread dates softened in orange juice over before sprinkling the rest of the crumble mix on top.

I do not like dates, the texture or the taste, but my Dad was a great fan so I made it for him. I then made it at least once a month for the rest of his life. 

Just like me Mum hated then too, we tried various other fillings. Apricots in juice were okay, but not wonderful they don't breakdown as much as the dates. Then I had a brainwave and used a jar of mincemeat as a last resort. BINGO. I have made this on a regular basis ever since, more frequently since the SO came into my life.

This is one version, oh yes I tinker with the recipe all the time.

I use a half standard shallow tin, roughly a Swiss roll tin. I have made it in a loose bottom shallow round tin, it makes for pretty slices.

This time I used,
200 grams plain flour.
100 grams cornflour. sometimes I use semolina and sometimes ground almonds here.
100 grams caster sugar.
Tip the lot into a bowl and whisk lightly to mix.
Rub in 200 grams butter until the mix starts to hang together.

Turn half into the greased tin a press down, not too hard you are not making concrete.
Then spread mincemeat over the top, I use homemade I think shop bought might be a little too wet but you could drain it in a sieve for a while. 

Tip the remaining mix on top and spread out evenly, press down lightly and pop in the oven. 160 c for 35 minutes. It should be a pale golden colour and smell heavenly. My oven shelf was a bit too high and the shortbread was slightly overcooked but still yummy. I sometimes forget that the oven runs hot so I need to reduce the temperature or lower the shelf.
If I think about it I sprinkle some flaked almonds over before it goes in the oven.

I use a round bladed knife (my Gran's bone handled knife) and mark into squares or slices while still hot. The SO is a greedy guts so I mark 12 squares. I put the tin onto a cooling rack to help it cool quicker and leave it till completely cold.

You could line the tin with baking paper to make it easier to get out as quite often the first square breaks up. We see that as an opportunity to do a  Quality Control test. 
I shot myself in the foot here by buying a special little palette knife that is angled, no broken slice for me anymore.

I can not tell you how long they keep in either fridge or cake tin as they are usually gone in 2 days. In our defence my neighbour W will have some and possibly A. They are both vegetarian but I always use vegetable suet in my mincemeat.

Pouring, whipped or clotted cream, creme fraiche or quark, greek yogurt or Marscapone all work with this but it is fine naked and unadorned. I have had it with custard and that is lush as well.

If I am baking for a Vegan I use Vitalite, you don't get the buttery taste so I put a little vanilla paste in the mix or failing that some fine grated lemon zest or even some cinnamon.
I use what I have, it all goes just as fast.

12 nice squares, but there was some serious shrinkage, some went to W and we had some for pudding. I will take some to A a bit later for her elevenses.

The base is nice and firm while the top is just a bit crumbly.

A tray of chopped vegetables in balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper and a few fresh herbs. 2 trays of this went into the oven and were  a tasty dinner tipped over a mix of cous cous and quinoa.
No cooked shot, it was eaten before I thought about it.

Really the mincemeat slice was not the best pudding to follow that dish, I usually make something lemony but the SO had dropped several mountain size hints about mince pies recently. 

It is past time that I got Ben out for his walk and I haven't given a thought to breakfast yet so I am off.

                             TTFN                                Pam


  1. Oh that looks so good Pam.....definitely better than the M*******'s mince pies we had which had half an inch of fresh air between the mincemeat and the lid. The pastry wasn't too bad though.
    Have a lovely Sunday.

    1. Even the magic and sparkle ones have that gap, I imagine it is to prevent them from boiling over.
      I have had a lovely day, sewing and cooking.

  2. Love this idea and I promise I won't make it like concrete! Catriona

    1. Enjoy, I have made it with a jar of strawberry jam, blissful.

  3. Very nice. Kind of like what we make for date squares here, only no dates. Just my cup of tea.

    God bless.

    1. I'm rather partial to it with a cuppa myself.

  4. I need to cover my eyes and UNREAD this! Better still, I will store it away for NEXT year when I will be a normal sized person who can eat a treat now and then with no downfall!

    1. I have to unread lots of things and unsee as many after a trip round the shops. Shame but I am happy with me as I am now and would like to stay like this. Well done on the weight loss so far.

  5. This is always what I do now. I find it so much nicer than individual mince pies. It's delicious. I also put on some cranberries for some added festive flavour. X

    1. I do make at least one batch up with fresh cranberries and then eke it out during the year.

  6. Your veggies look delish!!

    1. They are but then I love balsamic vinegar.

  7. I have recently discovered your blog and been puzzling over SO who is mentioned. Can't work out what it means. I know SIL could be sister in law or son in law but SO? Please put me out of my misery!


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