January 01, 2015

Star topped mince pie

It's new year eve!! After midnight it will be 1 January 2015!! It is a whole new year and hope that everything will be a whole new start and the best of everything!!

I baked this dainty star-topped mince pie on Christmas day. I am baking this again yesterday for today after dinner snack to go with coffee. Everyone love the flaky pie crust and not overly sweet mince filling. The sweetness is just nice and it's bursting of fruity taste. I can't find fresh cranberries neither frozen ones in the supermarket so i use the combination of blueberries and strawberries.

These mince pies are small, to be popped straight into the mouth in one go...

The crust is light, flaky and plain with a slight saltiness, pairing with the rich fruited filling.

These pies have not in full casings but with a little star as lid and that makes them look so beautifully.

Dust it with some icing sugar.

This blueberry and strawberry studded mincemeat pie taste equally good as cranberry studded mincemeat pie in the recipe. The recipe originally uses cranberry to make the filling.

This blueberry and strawberry mince pie filling is not only good as pie filling it is  as good as jam too. 

 
From top left to right: get ready the round cookies cutter, rolling pin and the star cookies cutter; roll out the pastry dough flat and cut with the round cookie cutter; this is the cut out round pastry base; lightly push it into the tart tin (i use mini muffin tins)
From bottom left to right: spoon in the mince pie filling; Cut the stars with a little star cookies cutter; Place lightly onto the top of the mincemeat.

Star-topped Mince Pie 
Recipe adapted from nigella.com
i make half of the recipe which makes about 18 small pies
(below is my record of half the recipe)

Ingredients:
for the pastry
  • 120 grams plain flour
  • 30 grams vegetable shortening
  • 30 grams cold butter
  • juice of orange (i use 3 Tbsp cold water)
  • pinch of salt
  • approx. 350 grams mincemeat 
  • icing sugar (for dusting)

for the cranberry (blueberry and strawberry) studded mincemeat - makes about 300ml / 1½ cups

  • 30 ml orange juice
  • 40 grams soft dark brown sugar
  • 120 grams blueberries
  • 30 grams strawberries
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger (i did not add this)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (i did not add this)
  • 75 grams raisins (i add
  • 15 grams dried cranberries
  • 15 ml brandy
  • drops almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • tablespoons honey
To Do:
  1. Make the mincemeat in advance.  In a large pan, dissolve the sugar in the orange juice (i use orange juice instead of ruby port) over a gentle heat.  Add the blueberries and strawberries ( i cut the strawberries into cubes) stir, add the raisins and dried cranberries. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 20 minutes, or until the fruit has broken down and has absorbed most of the liquid in the pan. (You may need to squish the blueberries and strawberries (i am using blueberry and strawberry instead of cranberry) a little with the back of a wooden spoon to incorporate them fully.)  Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little.  Add the brandy, almond extract, vanilla extract and honey and stir well with a wooden spoon to mash the mixture down into a paste.  Spoon the mincemeat into sterilised jars and, once cool, store in the fridge for up to two weeks.
  2. Then once you are ready to make your mince pies, get out a tray of miniature tart tins, each indent 4.5cm / 2 inches in diameter, along with a 5.5cm / 2¼ inch fluted, round biscuit cutter and a 4cm / 1¾ inch star cutter.
  3. Measure the flour into a shallow bowl or dish and, with a teaspoon, dollop little mounds of vegetable shortening into the bowl, add the butter, diced small, shake to cover it, then put in the freezer for 20 minutes. This is what will make the pastry so tender and flaky later.Mix together the cold water and salt in a separate, small bowl, cover and leave in the fridge to chill. 
  4. After the 20 minutes, empty the flour and fat into the bowl of your food processor and blitz until you see a pale pile of porridge-like crumbs.  Pour the salted cold water down the funnel, pulsing until it looks as if the dough is about to cohere; you want to stop just before it does (even if some cold water is left). Add some iced water if needed.
  5. If you prefer to use a freestanding mixer to make the pastry, cut the fats into the flour with the flat paddle, leaving the bowl in the fridge to chill down for the 20-minute flour-and-fat-freezer session.  Add liquid as above. I often find the pastry uses more liquid in the mixer than the processor.
  6. Turn the mixture out of the processor or mixing bowl onto a pastry board or work surface and, using your hands, combine to a dough. Then form into 3 discs (you’ll need to make these in 2 batches, unless you’ve got enough tart tins to make all 18 pies at once).
  7. Wrap each disc in clingfilm and put in the fridge to rest for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7/425ºF.
  8. Roll out the discs, one at a time, as thinly as you can without exaggerating; in other words, you want a light pastry case, but one sturdy enough to support the dense mincemeat. This is easy-going dough, so you don’t have to pander to it: just get rolling and patch up as you need.
  9. Out of each rolled-out disc cut out circles a little wider than the indentations in the tart tins; I use a fluted cookie cutter for this.  Press these circles gently into the moulds and dollop in a scant teaspoon of mincemeat.
  10. Then cut out your stars with your little star cutter – re-rolling the pastry as necessary – and place the tops lightly on the mincemeat.
  11. Put in the oven and bake for 10–15 minutes: keep an eye on them as they really don’t take long and ovens do vary. (i baked mine for 16 minutes)
  12. Remove from the oven, prising out the little pies straight away and letting the empty tin cool down before you start putting in the pastry for the next batch.  Carry on until they’re all done.
  13. Dust over some icing sugar by pushing it through a tea strainer, and serve the pies with coffee or tea.

 Wishing all my dear readers and dear friends a very 
Happy New Year 2015!!

15 comments:

  1. Mamma mia quanti dolci ho mangiato.Assaggio anche questi sono buonissimi.
    Auguroni!!

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  2. Cheers ! Happy New Year to you & family!

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  3. mui mui, your star topped mince pies are so cute! They are very irresistible as after dinner treats and nobody will say no. I want at least two! Happy New Year!

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  4. Happy New Year, Mui Mui. These mince pies look so pretty and tempting!

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  5. Hi Mui Mui, 新年快乐!All the best in 2015!

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  6. Happy new year Mui Mui. Your pies are very cute and beautiful.

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  7. wow... lovely mince pie! my hubby loves these... it sounds fantastic making these at home.. at least we control the sweetness... the ones we had in manchester (the M brand).. was overly sweet ... gonna take this recipe away and make it someday soon!

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  8. Hi Mui Mui, the small pie is so cute. i like it. Happy New Year 2015!

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  9. Happy New Year to you and your family. These mini pies look sooo cute!

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  10. 好漂亮的迷你派
    祝你与家人 Happy 2015 NewYear!

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  11. 喜欢这个盖有小星星的蓝莓挞, 新年快乐!

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  12. Hope Im not too late to wish you Happy New Year to you. Hope you have a good start of the year. I wanted to make similar mince pies too but was just heavy to get my butt up to bake up a storm during christmas.

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  13. Hi Doreen, Happy new year to you too and thanks for thinking about me:) I have always been curious about this mince meat pie that does not has meat in it:D Sounds like my kind of thing! Yummy!

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  14. Doreen , Happy New Year !!!!! Those mini pies look really good , the filling on its own sounds delish ! Hopefully , this year , I can bake more pastries :D

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