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Baking, Recipes

Starry Night Cranberry Mince Pies

Christmas is starting to approach fast. For those of you who read my Christmas Cake post, I am still in the feeding process and will be decorating it a few weeks before the big day. There are also other treats which can be prepared in advanced, and one of them is my favourite – mince pies. My mum stocks lots of them each year so that we have plenty to get through the festive season, but I thought that I would take a stab at making my own this year, storing in the freezer until Christmas Day.The cranberry mincemeat recipe is from BBC Good Food, and needs at least 2 weeks resting before use (but will last up to 6 months in a cool, dark cupboard). The below quantity made about 4 jars, so you can also pass them onto friends as a festive gift. For the pastry, I used a recipe from Michel Roux Pastry – one of the best books to master the tricky art of pastry. He suggests pâte sablée for mince pies as it melts in the mouth and has a wonderful crumbly texture.

Ingredients (makes 18 – 20 mince pies)

Cranberry Mincemeat
500g mix of raisin, currants and sultanas
150g dried apricots (chopped)
85g dried cranberries
85g mixed peel
150ml brandy
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Zest and juice of 1 orange
175g shredded suet
100g frozen cranberries (chopped)
200g soft brown sugar
2 tbsp mixed spice

250g plain flour
200g butter (slightly softened and cubed)
100g icing sugar
Pinch of salt
2 egg yolks
1 egg (for the egg wash)
Caster sugar (to sprinkle on top)

Put the dried fruits, mixed peel, zests and juices in a large bowl. Pour over the brandy and mix well. Cover with 2 layers of clingfilm and leave to soak for 24 hours in a cool place, stirring a few times.Sterilise the glass jars either in the dishwasher, or boiling in a saucepan and leaving to dry in a warm oven. Pour the mixture into a large saucepan, add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Put the saucepan over a medium heat and allow to warm until the suet has melted, then turn the heat up and bubble for a few minutes. Pack the mincemeat into the jars whilst warm, pushing down firmly to get rid of any air bubbles. Allow to cool, then store in a dark, cool cupboard.After a few weeks, the mincemeat is ready to be used. To make the pastry, sieve the flour onto a clean work surface and create a well in the middle. Put the butter, icing sugar and salt in the well, cream together with your fingertips, then delicately work in the egg yolks. Once all combined, gently mix in the flour little by little until you have formed a dough (it may get a little messy!) Knead the dough a few times until it is smooth and roll into a ball. Wrap it in clingfilm and place in the fridge for about 30 minutes.Grease two 12-hole cupcake tins (if you only have one tin like me, do them in two batches). When the dough is ready, take it out the fridge and roll out on a floured surface to a 2mm thickness. I used a 6cm round pastry cutter and a star cutter for the top which fit in the middle. If you want a full top on the pies, use a 4.5cm cutter.Line the cupcake tins with the larger discs and prick the bases. Fill the pies with mincemeat almost to the rim, and place the star on top. Put the cupcake tins in the fridge to set, and pre-heat the oven to 180C.Remove the pies from the fridge and brush the egg wash over the stars and around the edges of the pies. Place in the oven for 10 minutes, then sprinkle them with caster sugar and put back in the oven for another 5 minutes (or until golden brown). Take them out of the oven, leave in the tins for 5 minutes then remove and leave to cool on a wire rack.Once they are cooled, place them in freezer bags and into the freezer. When you are ready to munch on these, take them out of the freezer a few hours before, and warm up in the oven for 5 minutes. These are definitely served best with brandy custard or ice-cream during the festive season – enjoy 🙂

About beesteasandbooks

I am a keen reader and baker who loves all things sweets! This site is for me to review books and share baking recipes. If you have any comments or recommendations, then please get in touch!


9 thoughts on “Starry Night Cranberry Mince Pies

  1. Well, all I can say is “yummy”. I love cranberries but wouldn’t have thought to use them in mincemeat! This looks fab though and I may just have to try it. 🙂

    Posted by Susie @ Fold in the Flour | November 25, 2012, 18:17
  2. These look very yummy!

    Posted by Kat | November 25, 2012, 22:14
  3. Cranberry mincemeat sounds delicious! I’m not a huge fan of plain mince pies but I think these might change my mind 🙂

    Posted by thelittleloaf | December 20, 2012, 16:38


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