I’ve said here before how I’m not really a fan of mince pies. And then I started making Nigella’s Star Topped Mince Pies with their delicious boozy cranberry filling and never looked back.
I’ve played around with different flavours over the years and having seen a few varieties of cherry mince pies doing the rounds, I decided to incorporate them. So these are my Mini Cranberry and Cherry Mince Pies.
Mini Cranberry and Cherry Mince Pies
The recipe for the filling makes enough for a couple of batches of 24 of these little pies.
Ingredients for the mincemeat:
- 60ml ruby port or red wine
- 60ml of orange juice
- 25ml brandy
- 80g soft dark brown sugar
- 150g of fresh or frozen cranberries
- 175g of fresh or drained tinned cherries
- 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon of ground cloves
- A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 150g of raisins
- 50g of dried cranberries
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 375g of shortcrust pastry
- Heat a large pan over a medium heat and gently dissolve the sugar in the port, orange juice and brandy.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, apart from the pastry, and give it a good stir.
- Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The fruit will break down and absorb the liquid. I like to mash the fresh cranberries and cherries a little to break it down into more of a paste.
- Remove from the heat, taste to check the balance of flavours and once you are happy with it, allow it to cool. Once cooled put into the jar and refrigerate if not using immediately.
- When you are ready to make the pies, preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas mark 7 and get a mini muffin tin, fluted cookie cutter that is a little wider than the indentations in the muffin tin and mini star cutter.
- Roll out the pastry until it is quite thin. You just want it to be able to hold the mincemeat but it needs to cook quickly. Then cut out circles with the cookie cutter for this. Press these circles gently into the moulds and drop in a scant teaspoon of mincemeat. You will be tempted to add more but trust me this is plenty.
- Then cut out stars from the pastry and place lightly on top of the cranberry mincemeat.
- Place in the oven and bake for anything between 10-15 minutes, mine usually take 12.
- Pop them out of the tin and cool a bit on a wire rack.
- I like to serve warm from the oven but they are great at room temperature too. Dust with icing sugar and dot some cream on top.