This week, I decided to vary my classic mince pie recipe, adding a custard layer on the mincemeat, which had been lightly splashed with brandy. It has the feelings of eggnog and mincemeat in a mouthful, and the creaminess of the custard is delicious against the crisp pastry shells.
You can buy store bought mincemeat or make your own (my recipe for mincemeat is here).
If these are for kids/alcohol haters, omit the brandy and add something like orange juice instead.
Makes 12 pies
For the pastry:
- 190g (1 & 1/2 cups) plain flour
- 45g (3 tbsp) icing sugar
- 1/3 tsp salt
- 3 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 90g (4 & 1/2 tbsp) butter, chilled and cubed
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tbsp water
- 400g (1 & 1/4 cups) jar good quality mincemeat
- 500ml (2 cups) milk (I use skimmed, but whole milk would give a richer result)
- 4 egg yolks
- 70g (1/3 cup) sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 30ml (2 tbsp) brandy (or orange juice)
- 1 tbsp corn flour
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- Zest of one orange
1. Lightly grease the base and sides of a 12 cup deep muffin tray.
2. Prepare the pastry. Into a large bowl sieve the plain flour, icing sugar, salt, ginger and cinnamon.
3. Add the butter to the dry ingredients and rub together until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Be patient at this point and make sure no large clumps of butter remain.
4. Add the egg yolk and water. Bring the dough together with your hands. Knead lightly into a ball.
5. Roll the dough out between two layers of clingfilm, until it is around the thickness of a pound coin (around 2mm). Cut out 10cm circles (using a fluted cutter) and gently transfer the the muffin tray. Chill for 20 minutes.
6. Preheat the oven to 200c (180c fan)/430f/gas mark 6.
7. Place a heaped teaspoon of mincemeat into each tart case (so that it is between 1/2 and 2/3 full). Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the pastry is lightly golden. Set aside to cool.
8. Once cool, prepare the custard. In a medium saucepan heat the milk with the vanilla extract.
9. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, orange zest, corn flour and plain flour until smooth. Once the milk/vanilla mixture is gently simmering, pour over the egg mixture, whisking constantly.
10. Return the eggy mixture to the saucepan, and stir constantly until thickened. This will only take a few minutes. Whisk in the brandy or juice.
11. Pour into a measuring jug (for easier pouring), and pour the custard on the top of each mince pie, until they are completely filled. Place in the fridge to set for around half an hour.
12. Enjoy cold or warmed :)