Updated: Jan 8, 2021
I promise I will try not to go on too much at the start of a recipe! Sometimes a little paragraph is necessary though.
I found a jar of Safari Fruit Mince Meat at my local Spar, thought I'd give it a bash, and make a Christmas Pie/Pecan Pie hybrid. And boosted the whole thing with a little brandy. Feel free to omit the pecans if you're not a fan of nuts, though.
Rolling pin & board
Large round/scalloped & small star shaped Cookie Cutters
Shallow cupcake or muffin pan
Jar of Fruit Mincemeat - I found the Safari range at my local Spar
(sugar to taste)
1 cup Pecan Nuts
Splash Brandy or Bourbon
2 cups Flour
120g cold Butter cut into blocks (if using unsalted, add a little salt to your flour)
2 tablespoons caster sugar
Orange - zested (1 tablespoon) and juiced (1/3 cup)
Icing sugar for dusting
Non stick spray
If you don't have a food processor you can make by hand. Rub the butter into the flour first, then add the sugar, zest and juice to create a dough
Just work the dough enough until it comes together and forms a ball
Put flour (and salt, if needed) into food processor and pulse for a few seconds. Saves having to sift the flour.
Drop in cubes of cold butter and pulse quickly until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add in sugar and orange zest and pulse a couple of times to mix.
Pour in the juice and mix until the dough just comes together, no worries if it's still crumbly in places.
Turn onto a floured board and knead together until it forms a ball. Cut the ball in half.
Roll each half into a ball and flatten with your hands. Cover with clingwrap and put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to rest and chill.
Spoon the fruitmince into a small saucepan and add in chopped up pecans. Add a little splash of brandy or bourbon to boost up the flavour. Taste and add a little sugar if you like your mix a bit sweeter. Heat and simmer just a little until flavours are combined, and take off the heat.
Tip : Taste test again and add in any additional spices or flavours you might like. I find a little allspice and cinnamon works well, but can be omitted if you like the flavour as is.
Heat oven to 165 degC (fan assisted). Convection ovens can go a touch higher. Spray your muffin pan with non stick spray.
Take dough out the fridge and roll out fairly thinly, around 3mm. Cut out rounds and push gently into the muffin pans. Cut out stars for tops of pies
TIP : Go a little thinner with the stars than I did. Roll out a separate sheet of dough for these, and try go a little thinner if possible. You can also use any other shape for the tops, even cutting out rounds to cover completely. If covering completely poke a hole in the top for the steam to escape.
Fill each with about a tablespoon of fruit mince mix and top with a star shape.
Bake for about 20 minutes, or longer if your oven is cooler and the pastry looks a little too blonde.
Once done cool & sprinkle with icing sugar. Enjoy!