Rustic Marzipan Mince Pies

By Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Mince pies are one of my favourite things about Christmas...don't tell anyone, but I have been known to eat quite a few in one sitting! These mince pies are a small labour of love. Every component is homemade, from the sour cream pastry to the mincemeat and even the marzipan. It may seem like a lot of effort, but it actually doesn't take that long all up. By all means, you can buy the pastry, mincemeat and marzipan, but there is something really quite nice about having made everything from scratch! 

Now, I am not a huge fan of marzipan, however when the stars are cooked there is only a very subtle hint of almond in these pies, which really adds to the richness of the mincemeat. Sour cream pastry creates the most deliciously crumbly yet flavoursome pastry that works perfectly with the mincemeat filling. All up, these make pretty great holiday gifts, stocking fillers or a delicious desert topped with a good dollop of cream! 



Makes 24

You will need:

Pastry:
150g sour cream
175g unsalted butter
250g plain flour

Mincemeat:
1 kg raisins
175g dates, pitted and roughly chopped
400g soft brown sugar
150g walnuts, roasted and roughly chopped
5 apples, finely diced
12 squares of crystallised ginger, roughly chopped
1 litre orange juice
2 oranges, zested
2 lemons, zested
3 tbsp allspice
2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cloves

Marzipan:
200g ground almonds
200g icing sugar
1 egg


The preparation for these pies starts a week before you plan to make them, as you need to make the mincemeat. Place all of the mincemeat ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir well to make sure everything is combined. Cover with cling film and leave in a dry place for a week. Every day you have to make sure to stir it really well to ensure the ingredients marinade really well.  If you are going to use it straight away you can leave it in the bowl, otherwise, store in airtight glass jars. 

You also want to make the marzipan at least 4 hours before you want to bake the pies, to give it time to firm up in the fridge. I made the ground almonds from scratch simply because I only had whole almonds in the house, but by all means buy ready ground almonds from the supermarket. Place the ground almonds and icing sugar in your food processor and blitz until well combined. Add in the egg and pulse until a smooth paste forms. Scoop the paste out and cover with greaseproof paper. Cover and leave in the fridge for at least 4 hours. 



Then, prepare the pastry. Rub the butter into the flour until breadcrumbs form. Stir in the sour cream and form into a dough. Cover with greaseproof paper and leave to chill for at least 30 minutes. 

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees/ gas 7. Roll out the pastry and cut out 24 circles with a cutter that is just larger than your pie tin. Lightly grease the tins. Gently push the pastry into the cases the spoon a large tablespoon of mincemeat into each case. Place in the oven for 8 minutes, turning the tins half way through so that they brown evenly. 

In the meantime, roll out your marzipan as thin as possible. Cut out 24 stars and once the pies have been in the oven for 8 minutes, place on top of the pies and bake for 2 minutes, just until they get a little toasted. 

Remove from the oven and leave to chill for a few minutes on a wired rack. Serve and enjoy! 





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