I love a mince pie as much as the next person. But wouldn't it be nice to have a mince pie with a twist for a change. I was trying to think of alternative mince pie recipes without compromising too much on the concept, and I got to thinking of good flavour combinations.
I knew I wanted chocolate chips to make the final cut, so what goes well with chocolate? Pears!!! Chocolate and Pear go together like Simon and Garfunkel!And what also goes well with chocolate from the mincemeat family? Well dried cranberries are a good call, and there is a heavy chocolate-type flavour from dates also. Very moorish. So there you have it: chocolate chips, dried cranberries, pears, and dates make up the 'dry' mince meat ingredients. Now for the quick fix 'wet' ingredients, Some marmalade and some cream liqueur will do nicely . Oh don't forget the mixed spice.....It is Christmas after all!
I like to make my mince pies look really rustic and homemade! So instead of putting a lid on the pies, I have made a super fast crumble to top the pies with. If a crumble doesn't tickle your fancy, grab a star cookie cutter with the same diameter as the circle ring you use to cut out the pastry discs and you have really pretty star studded pies instead. Either way, they are anything but another boring mince pie.
- 80g of chocolate chips
- 2 pears, diced
- 35g of dried cranberries
- 3 tbsp of orange marmalade
- 1 tbsp of bailey liqueur
- 125g chopped dates
- 1 tsp of mixed spice
- 1 ready rolled sheet of all butter shortcrust pastry
- 25g of cold butter
- 25g of brown sugar
- 25g of ground almonds
- 25g of flaked almonds
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
- First make the 'mincemeat' filling. Add the following to a large bowl and stir well to combine : chocolate chips, diced pears, dried cranberries, chopped dates, mixed spice, baileys, and the marmalade.
- Then make the crumble by rubbing the butter into the sugar and then add the ground and flaked almonds.
- Roll out the sheet of pastry and cut out circles with a round cookie cutter. (Measure the circle cutter to make sure its a small bit bigger that the muffin tin holes.
- Oil the muffin holes, and place one disc of pastry in each muffin hole.
- Spoon in the mincemeat mixture and top with the crumble mixture. You can tray freeze them at this stage and just cook them from frozen for an extra five minutes.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and place muffin tin on a wire rack. The liquid will be bubbling so be careful, they are very hot. Run a knife or spatula around the rim of the mince to release from the tin while the liquid is still hot. If it cools too much it will stick to the walls and be more difficult to remove without them breaking.
- After 2-3 minutes, remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack.
- When ready to serve, sprinkle with icing sugar and serve with cream, custard, or icecream.