They are not your traditional mince pies, but they are not so far dipparted from the original version that those set on tradition will bite into them and go: “You call this a mince pie? This is an abomination!”
I love to keep things traditional during Christmas, at home we eat pan dulce (an Argentine cousin of Italian Pannetone), and even though everyone seems to be falling for it, I refuse to buy those chocolate chips pan dulces that are popping everywhere. Chocolate chip? On my Christmas pannetone? I don’t think so! So, yes, I understand the importance of keeping the flavours we grew up with during the holiday season.
But a teeny-weeny tweak here and there, say, adding chopped cherries to the mix of fruits in my pannetone, or changing the pastry on my mince pies, can add some flavour without completely changing the dish.
So, without further ado, Christmas is almost on top of us after all, here is the recipe.
Ingredients (makes 12 pies approx.):
100g coconut oil
300g plain flour
2 egg yolks
50ml cold water
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 jar of mincemeat.
1.- In a bowl place the flour and the salt. Mix together and then add the coconut oil.
I haven’t tried using a blender. You can try it though, and if it works, then making these pies will be a breeze.
3.- Make a well in the centre, add the egg yolks, vanilla essence and the water.
4.- Mix everything by hand until you have a dough that comes off the sides of the bowl. Don’t overwork the dough or it will make a tough pastry. Just mix enough for the wet ingredients to permeate the dry ones and then press everything together to form a ball.
6.- After 1-2 hours, take the dough out of the fridge. You can then lightly flour a surface and roll out your dough; or you can spread a rectangle of cling film on your working top, place the dough on it, and then cover loosely with another cling film sheet and roll out the pastry through the cling film; that way, the dough doesn’t stick to the rolling-pin and you avoid using too much flour, which will also make your pastry tough. Roll out to a 3mm thickness.
7.- Cut circles of 4-5 cm diameter, depending on the size you want your mince pies to be. Try not to make them too big that they are difficult to eat, or too small, because they won’t take enough filling.
8.- Spread 1 -2 teaspoons of filling into one of the circles, then paint around the edges with a bit of water or egg white so that the top of the pie will stick to the bottom. Take a second circle, prick it with a fork and place on top of the filling.
11.- Place in the fridge for 30 mins and then bake or freeze them wrapped in cling film.
12.- To bake them: Preheated your oven at 200 C. Place the pies on a baking tray covered with baking paper and bake for 20 minutes or until golden.
13.- You can prepare a simple glaze with 1/2 cup of icing sugar and 1 teaspoon lemon juice to cover them once they are cold. If you want your icing to be super white, like in the photos, the add 1 teaspoon of egg whites to your icing sugar/lemon mix and whisk everything together until soft and fluffy.