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Author Notes: Growing up in Australia, we always had a lot of traditional English fare at Christmas, and fruit mince pies were a mainstay. For me, mince pies were a much better sign that Christmas was around the corner, than carols playing in the stores. It was the same as a seeing Hot Cross Buns as Easter neared. Since moving abroad, fruit mince pies have been one thing I really missed, but even in Australia - finding exactly the right mince pie is tough - so here is my version. Although it is a long process to make them, I think it just isn't Christmas without them! —aussiefoodie
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cup flame raisins
- 1/3 cup currants
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped candied peel
- 1/4 cup candied red cherries
- 1/4 cup candied pineapple (or other candied fruit)
- 1/3 cup dried black mission figs
- 2 tablespoons crystallized giner, finely chopped
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons Cointreau
- 2 tablespoons dark rum
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
- 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1 grated apple (Granny Smith)
- Chop the dried fruit so it is in small pieces, roughly the size of a raisin. Mix in the peel, sugar, Cointreau, Rum, zest, lemon juice, apple and spices. Mix well.
- Note: Mixed Spice is a spice blend commonly used in British cooking, usually to flavor sweet dishes, but can sometimes be used in savory dishes also. It is a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. It also contains some of the following spices - ground cloves, ground ginger, ground coriander, mace. It is similar to Pumpkin Pie Spice. You can mix up your own version of these spices to flavor the fruit mince.
- Leave the fruit mince covered at room temperature to stand for at least a week, and stir regularly. It gets better with age, and I have stored fruit mince for up to 3 years, in sterilized jars in the refrigerator. In a pinch, you could marinate overnight, but the fruit mince only gets better with age.
- 8 ounces All purpose flour
- 6 ounces unsalted butter, cold
- 1 pinch salt
- 3 tablespoons ice cold water
- 1 egg, beaten
- Chop the butter into small pieces, and rub into the flour and salt until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the water one tablespoon at a time until the pastry comes together in a smooth ball, and is not sticky.
- Wrap the pastry ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Roll the pastry out on a floured surface until very thin.
- Butter or spray with canola oil, 36 mini-muffin or pie tins. I use mini-pie pans that are approximately 1.5" in diameter, without a flat base, but entirely concave inside - they're perfect for filling, without getting too much pastry. But mini-muffin pans would work fine.
- Using a circle cutter slightly bigger than the diameter of your pans, cut out 36 circles of pastry, and line the inside of the pans with the pastry circle.
- Spoon one tablespoon of fruit mince (mixed well) into each pie.
- Cut out 36 stars using a small star shaped cutter, and place one star on top of each pie (if you don't have enough pastry, you can skip this step).
- Brush the top of each star with the beaten egg wash.
- Bake the pies for 10 - 15 minutes at 400F, until the pastry is golden and flaky, and the fruit mince is bubbly.
- Remove from the oven, cool the pies on a mesh rack. I like to serve the pies sprinkled with confectioner's sugar. The pies will keep for 1 - 2 weeks stored in an air-tight container. I think they improve a little with age - I like to make them at least a day of ahead of when I'm serving them.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Holiday Cookie from Anywhere in the World