English mince pies
This recipe for Christmas Fruit Mince Pies uses suet as a shortening. Suet, the rendered fat from around the kidneys was prized by traditional groups for its nutritional qualities. This recipe also uses the innovation of kefir whey to provide micro-organisms in addition to those naturally found on the dried fruit, which act to break down, proteins, starches and sugars. In addition to making the fruit mince more nutritious and digestible, the fermentation process produces delicious flavours over time. You should give the fruit mince at least a week to mature before making into pies with sourdough pastry. All being well it should last at least 12 months in a refrigerator, just make sure that you keep the inside of the top of the jar clean.
Makes about 750 ml
To make the fruit mince
Roughly process the suet, apples, mixed peel and grated rind in a food processor, then mix together with the other ingredients in a bowl. Add the spices one at a time, giving the mixture a stir before adding the next spice. Transfer the mixture to a glass jar, cap and store in a refrigerator for at least a week before making into pies with a sourdough pastry.
make the fruit mince pies.
(You will need sourdough pastry made with 4 cups of flour to make about 16 fruit mince pies.)
Roll out the sourdough pastry thinly. Cut out the pastry circles with a 78 mm (3 inch) scone cutter for the base and a 88mm (3 1/2 inch) scone cutter for the tops. Line a greased baking tray with baking paper. Distribute the smaller pastry circles on the paper lined tray. Add 1-2 tablespoons of fruit mince to each base. Pat the fruit mince into a neat mound in the centre of the pastry then cover with the larger piece of pastry. Pinch the edges of the pastry together then prick the tops with a fork a couple of times, so that gas may escape when the fruit mince pies are cooking, which would otherwise burst the seal. Bake at 180C for 20-25 minutes, turning the tray around after 15 minutes so that the mince pies are evenly cooked.
If you do not have a food processor just grate the suet and the apple with a hand grater.
Except for the apple this recipe uses all dried fruit.
1 teaspoon = 5 ml / 5 gm. 1 tablespoon = 15 ml / 15 gm. 15 tablespoons = 1 cup / 225 ml. 1 cup = 8 fluid oz / 225 ml. 1 US gallon = 3.6 litres. 1 lb = 16 oz / 454 gm. Temperature 20C = 68F. Conversion from Fahrenheit to Celsius: C = (F - 32) / 1.8. Conversion from Celsius to Fahrenheit: F = C x 1.8 + 32
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