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:
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!