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How to make Darina Allen's Ultimate Mince Pies

One Scottish Hotel has set its stall out for Christmas by announcing after 53 years of serving Mince Pies, it will stop.  Glynhill Hotel & Spa, in Glasgow has decided to save on food waste by not including the Christmas desert which is no longer a favourite amongst its customers.  Darina Allen Chef, Author and founder of Ballymaloe Cookery School joined Kieran to discuss and told him the best way to go about making them... 

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17.05 30 Nov 2023


How to make Darina Allen's Ultimate Mince Pies


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17.05 30 Nov 2023


One Scottish Hotel has set its stall out for Christmas by announcing after 53 years of serving Mince Pies, it will stop.

Glynhill Hotel & Spa, in Glasgow has decided to save on food waste by not including the Christmas desert which is no longer a favourite amongst its customers.

Darina Allen Chef, Author and founder of Ballymaloe Cookery School joined Kieran to discuss and told him the best way to go about making them.

RECIPE

Ballymaloe Homemade Mincemeat

 

Here are three delicious options, the first is the classic Ballymaloe Mincemeat recipe passed down in Myrtle FAllen’s family for several generations.  It contains suet, so it’s moist and juicy and best eaten hot.

Ballymaloe Mincemeat keeps for years – I can vouch for at least two or three.

 

Makes 3.2 kilos (7lbs) approx.

Makes 8-9 pots.

 

2 cooking apples, such as Bramley’s Seedling

2 organic lemons

790g (1lb 12oz) Barbados sugar (moist, soft, dark-brown sugar)

450g (1lb) beef suet

450g (1lb) sultanas

225g (8oz) currants

110g (4oz) candied citrus peel (preferably homemade)

62ml (2 1/2fl oz) Irish whiskey

2 tablespoons Seville orange marmalade

pinch of salt

 

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.

Core and bake the whole apples in the preheated oven for 30 minutes approx. Allow to cool.  When they are soft, remove the skin and pips and mash the flesh into pulp.

Grate the rind from the lemons on the finest part of a stainless steel grater, squeeze out the juice and stir into the pulp.

Add the other ingredients one by one, and as they are added, mix everything thoroughly.  Put into sterilized jars, cover and leave to mature for 2 weeks before using.  This mincemeat will keep for two to three year in a cool, airy place.

 

*Revised ‘A Simply Delicious Christmas’

 

Ballymaloe Mince Pies with Irish Whiskey Cream and toppings

We have so much fun with mince pies and do lots of variations.  Sometimes we press out a start shape from the top so the mincemeat is visible, then we use that star to cover the next one.  A tiny heart can be put on top of another.  All mince pies with a pastry top need to be brushed with egg wash before going into the oven.

 

Makes 20-24 mince pies

 

Pastry

225g (8oz) plain flour

175g (6oz) butter, chilled and cut into 1cm (1/2 inch) approx. cubes

1 dessertspoon icing sugar, sieved

a pinch of salt

a little beaten egg or egg yolk and water to bind

450g (1lb) Ballymaloe Mincemeat (see recipe)

egg wash

 

To Serve

Irish Whiskey Cream (see recipe below)

 

Sieve the flour into a bowl.  Toss the butter into the flour and rub it in with your fingertips. Add the icing sugar and a pinch of salt. Mix with a fork as you gradually add in the beaten egg (do this bit by bit because you may not need all the egg), then use your hand to bring the pastry together into a ball: it should not be wet or sticky. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.

Roll out the pastry until it’s quite thin - about 3mm (1/8 inch).  Stamp out into rounds 7.5cm (3 inch) in diameter and line shallow bun tins with the discs.  Put a good teaspoonful of mincemeat into each tin, dampen the edges with water and put another round on top.  Brush with egg wash and decorate with pastry leaves in the shape of holly berries, etc.

Bake the mince pies in a preheated oven for 20 minutes approx. Allow them to cool slightly, then dredge with icing or castor sugar.

Serve with a blob of whiskey flavoured cream.

 

Mince Pies with Meringue

 

Meringue

2 egg whites, preferably free-range and organic

110g (4oz) caster sugar

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.

Line the tins and fill as in the master recipe but do not put another pastry round on top of the pies.

 

To make the meringue, check that our mixing bowl is spotlessly clean and free from grease.  Put the egg whites and caster sugar into the bowl and whisk until the mixture forms stiff dry peaks.  Pipe a blob of meringue on top of each pie with a large start nozzle.  Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.  Turn off the oven and allow the meringue to cool in the oven.

 

Mince Pies with Almond Crumble

110g (4oz) self-raising flour

75g (3oz) caster sugar

75g (3oz) chilled butter

25g (1oz) flaked almonds

 

Line the tins and fill as in the master recipe, but do not put another pastry round on top of the pies.

Mix together the flour and sugar and then rub in the butter with your fingertips to make a coarse crumble.  Add the flaked almonds.  Sprinkle a generous teaspoon of crumble on top of each mince pie.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.

 

Irish Whiskey Cream

1 tablespoon Irish whiskey

1 teaspoon icing sugar, sieved

225ml (8fl oz) softly whipped cream

 

Fold the whiskey and sugar into the whipped cream.

Copyright – Recipes from ‘A Simply Delicious Christmas’ by Darina Allen, published by Gill Book


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