I am a sucker for a heart-warming story, so when I heard about a mammoth mince pie making session, I had to find out more…

Cake by Sadie Smith, based in Corfe Mullen has made 400 mince pies, with the help of some friends, for the Diverse Abilities Christmas Carol Service. Diverse Abilities is a Dorset charity helping people of all ages who have physical and learning disabilities.

If you’re looking to attend a Carol Service this Christmas, it is taking place this evening (Thursday 20th December) at Wimborne Minster. You can get tickets here: https://diverseabilities.org.uk/carolconcert

Now, back to the mince pies! These are not just any mince pies, they are crumble mince pies! I’m assured these are easy to make. Personally, I’m okay with just doing the eating, but if you love baking, let us know how you get on!

The recipe below has been kindly donated by Cake by Sadie Smith. The mincemeat recipe in particular has been used by Sadie since she was 16 so is well practised and assured to be super tasty – you definitely can’t beat the taste of homemade mincemeat. Should you run out of time, you can of course substitute with a shop bought mincemeat.

MINCEMEAT INGREDIENTS
225g Bramley apples, peeled, cored & chopped into small chunks
110g Vegetable suet
200g Raisins
125g Sultanas
125g Currants
175g Soft dark brown sugar
Grated zest of a lemon & an orange
Quarter teaspoon of ground cinnamon
2 level teaspoons mixed ground spice
Pinch of nutmeg
4 tablespoons brandy

MINCEMEAT METHOD
Combine all the ingredients in an oven proof bowl except the Brandy, stirring thoroughly. Cover with a clean tea towel & leave overnight to allow the flavours to mingle.
The next day – pre-heat the oven to 120c.
Cover the bowl with foil & cook for 2 hours. It will look as though it is swimming in fat but once the mixture comes out the oven & cools it will encase the ingredients.
Allow to cool, stirring occasionally.
The mincemeat is now ready to be placed in sterilized jars …or straight into your mince pies!

MINCE PIE INGREDIENTS
250g salted butter
500g plain flour
125g caster sugar
A pinch of mixed spice
A little milk

MINCE PIE METHOD
Pre heat the oven to 175c
In a food mixer, processor or with your hands, mix & combine all ingredients until they resemble breadcrumbs.
Remove a third of the breadcrumbs into another bowl.
Add a little milk at a time to the remaining breadcrumbs mixing in between until the mixture forms a dough.
Tip out onto a floured work surface & roll out thinly.
Using pastry cutters, cut out rounds of pastry, placing them in a cupcake tin, gently press them into the bottom & sides of the tin.
Add a generous teaspoon of mincemeat to the centre of each pastry case.
Top with a spoon of the crumble mix until all the mincemeat is covered. Don’t worry if the crumble mix goes everywhere & over the sides of the case, the case will lift cleanly from the cupcake tin once cooked leaving any bits behind.
Place in the oven for approx 20 mins or until golden brown.
Once cooked these can be eaten but equally freeze really well in a tupperware container.

Cake by Sadie Smith: http://www.cakebysadiesmith.co.uk

Diverse Abilities: https://diverseabilities.org.uk

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