loti cooks | mince pies

Foods don’t come more festive than mince pies – they are literally sugar and spice and all things nice, in one bite-size package – so there’s no better recipe to feature this month. This one comes courtesy of Tom Aikens, chef and founder of Muse and Tom’s Kitchen, and makes a minimum of 24, so you’ll have quite the stash to share with your co-workers (or scoff yourself, no-one’s judging here). The recipe really is pretty simple, it’s mainly a lot of mixing together, but it does take time so make the mincemeat well before you need it so it has plenty of time to marinate and mature.

What You Need

For the mincemeat
325g-cooked apples, peeled, cored and chopped
115g shredded suet
150g raisins
115g sultanas and currants
115g mixed candied peel
150g soft dark brown sugar
Zest and juice of 1 lemon and orange
30g nibbed almonds
2tsp mixed spice
1tsp cinnamon
Large pinch fresh grated nutmeg
0.5g ground ginger
0.5g salt
4 tbsp brandy

For the pastry
1.5g salt
140g butter
110g caster or powdered sugar
2 egg yolks
1 whole egg
Few drops vanilla essence

What You Do

1. Make the mincemeat. Mix all the ingredients together, except the brandy, in a bowl and leave in a cool place for 12 hours to marinate.

2. Place the mixture in a baking dish, cover with tin foil and bake for 2.5 to 3 hours at 140°c / 225°f. Leave to cool stirring from time to time and then stir in the brandy.

3. Spoon the cooled mixture into storage jars and cover with waxed discs and seal. This is then ready to use, however it’s best to leave it to mature for one month.

4. Make the pastry. Sieve the flour and salt, put into a stand mixer and place on a low to medium speed, then add the butter mix till crumb like. Add the sugar then eggs and yolks, it will slowly come together, then refrigerate for 1 hour.

5. Roll the dough out between two sheets of parchment to a 0.5cm thickness, then let it rest for 10 minutes. Cut out 48 pieces with a round cutter, you need the tops to be medium and the bottoms to be large.

6. Make the mince pies in either small Yorkshire pudding moulds or tartlet cases. Lightly grease the moulds/cases then flour. Line with the pastry then add the mince pie mix. Place on the lid, crimp the edges and bake at 180°c /375°f for about 10-15 minutes, and dust with icing sugar to serve.

For more Tom Aikens recipes, check out his website here. Do tag us in your photos with #loticooks and we will showcase the best ones on our feed.