Saturday, December 24, 2011

The boys of the NYPD choir were singing Galway Bay, and the bells were ringing out for Christmas Day...

I tried to do a vlog of my Christmas decorations like last year, but I never get any alone time in my house anymore. :( I feel that Mum would lock me up if I was wandering about the place in a Baroque gown talking to myself with my camera and making an even bigger fuss than usual over the decorations, so I guess last year's vid will have to do. It's mostly the same decorations anyway.... 

Ok so I know I said wasn't going to post until I caught up with commenters, but I wanted to post a nice Christmas recipe in case any of you might like to try making it for Christmas. 

Pat yourselves on the back, kids, because I am now going to share My Own mince pie recipe. (The version I usually don't hand out to people so their pies are never as good as mine.) 

You will need:
For the filling - red and gold raisins, currants, and cranberries (I just get the Sunmaid kind because the raisins and cranberries come all in one package. 2 packs of those and a box of the currants end up being the perfect amount.)
...but if you want to get technical about it: 3/4 cup of each the red and gold raisins, the cranberries, and the currants

- about a 1/2 cup of dark brown sugar (you may need more later, but let's start with that)

- a 12 oz. can of frozen apple juice concentrate

- one lemon, and one orange

- one Granny Smith apple, and one gala apple

- 1/4 cup of softened butter

- 1 tsp each of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice; and 1/2 tsp. of ground clove, and ginger

- between 1 to 1 1/2 cups of brandy. I use E&J

Cut up the apples and dump them into a big mixing bowl, followed by the raisins, cranberries, currants, apple juice concentrate, brown sugar, butter, spices, and brandy. Add the zest of the lemon and orange. And mind you don't zest any of your fingers into it as well

Mix that up real nice. I like to let it sit overnight in a covered bowl, so all the solid ingredients can properly soak up the flavors of everything else, but you don't have to do that. 

The filling mix then needs to be cooked in a crock pot on low for 8 hours. If you don't have a slow cooker, go buy one. 
....or, just heat the filling mix on the stove for at least 2 - 2 1/2 hours on a low heat. 

After the eight hours, it should look like this:
Appetizing, no?

To make the dough:
I much prefer a shortbread dough, as that's always what we had growing up when Granny made these. 
You will need - 3 1/2 cups of butter (7 sticks of butter) softened
- 4 1/2 cups of flour
- 5/8 cups confectioners sugar
- 5/8 cups light brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix it all together in a large bowl. It's easiest if you use your hands. When it's well blended, wrap it tight in cling wrap and let it sit in the fridge for about 2 hours, and then let it sit out of the fridge for at least 1 hour. 

Once the filling is slow-cooked and the dough has had a good sit, you're ready to make the pies!
You'll need a good cutting board or a good surface for the dough, and a muffin pan. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F, and line your muffin pan with muffin cups. 
Make sure your cutting board or surface is well-floured, and keep the flour out because you're going to need it. The shortbread dough is not as easy to roll out as regular pie dough, but sure just try your best.
I usually just do a little bit at a time. You want it about a quarter-inch thick.

And then I use the container for the muffin cups to cut circles.
'Cause they're pretty much the same size as the muffin cups, which works for when you take those little circles of dough and use them to line your muffin cups in the muffin pan. 

And then use a small spoon to spoon the filling into the dough in the muffin tin. 

I like to use a star-shaped cookie cutter to put a piece of dough on top of each mince pie, but you can use any shape you want, or cover it completely, or not cover it at all. 
Before putting them in the oven, lightly brush the exposed dough on the top with some scrambled egg. I also like to sprinkle a teensy bit of cinnamon sugar. 

Bake for about 15-17 minutes, and then let them cool on a rack.

Amazing pies!! Not exactly a low-calorie dessert, but these pies are so rich that you physically cannot binge on them. One is quite enough. 

I hope you're all having an amazing Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Solstice/Yuletide/Whatever. Eat pie! 


  1. Oo sounds so yummy, my mum would love them! Thanks for sharing the recipe :)
    Merry Christmas!
    Lottie x

  2. That's sounds so delicious! And the pictures... They look so cool with those stars! I know it's nothing hard to make, but also know that I suck in a kitchen. This I way beyond what I can make. But I must say, they look great! Maybe I can get my mom to make them...

    Haha, merry Christmas love.
    Stay strong! <3

  3. teehee, starry eyed piefaces. :)

    can't wait to see those christmas decorations! :D

    <3 happy holidays!

  4. Oh, looks delicious! Hap[y Christmas to you! xx

  5. This is such an awesome recipe, especially considering how much I love mince pies. The Pogues is also my favourite Christmas song of all time so you have awesome taste! Merry Christmas Mich, to you, your friends and family. You deserve it!

  6. Hee, i love that song and vid, but you already know that! Those little tarts look delish, my hub would love them, too bad i'm so lazy, he will get it out of a jar...or frozen...the horror! Where's the meat???

    Have a lovely Christmas, dear Mich!

    Love, tracy

  7. I loved your video from last year. I still have it! I hope you make another one soon, even if it's not a Christmas one.

    I must be honest and say that I really don't like mince pies at all. Cherry pies, however...! Hope you have a wonderful Christmas, M. Love you. <3.

  8. God they look yummy!!!!! Thankyou for the comment on my last post :) I think i will try to relax til after xmas, then feel terrible.... haha, i've eaten about 2 countries worth of food too lately, your not alone there! xxx

  9. Wow your mom seems very stifling! Wondering around your house in a fancy gown showing of your christmas decorations to bloggers everywhere sounds like a fun thing! (checked out last years video! You look very beautiful in your dress too! I'm sad theres no second video!)

  10. Those look pretty tasty, pretty jealous over here.

  11. Thank you for the kind and encouraging words... I hope you had a good Christmas - your pies look amazing!

    Are you doing anything special for New Year's Eve?

    Again, thanks my darling Mich for caring enough to send me some love.


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