Marzipan Mince Pies Recipe
Christmas just isn’t Christmas without me making Mince Pies every weekend, stockpiling them in the freezer as if the world’s about to end. It’s endless, mainly due to the fact that whenever I make them, before I can bag them up, at least a tray full has been eaten by my family *but mainly me*. I have tried many a pastry recipe over the years, but the one that always stuck in my mind was one which uses the zest of an orange. And this is the one I am sharing with you today with these wonderful Marzipan Mince Pies.
The pastry in these little pies is soft, orangey and just like shortbread. It’s so buttery and sweet, it’s quite hard not to eat big lumps of it when it’s raw *no need for a hi-vis jacket as no raw egg here*. This pastry recipe comes via the BBC Good Food website, a big festive thank you to them. Then, I like to pop a tiny square of marzipan into the mincemeat just for extra Christmas deliciousness. All these elements go towards making these quite the most tasty mince pies I have ever eaten *modest*.
Just start making them now if you want to have some left to freeze in time to serve up on Christmas day. Warm them through in the oven and serve with all the trimmings. I can never choose between brandy butter, brandy sauce, brandy cream or just cream, so I tend to go with a touch of all of them *loosens waist band*.
Look at that festive ingredients line up, you can almost hear the sleigh bells ringing. I always buy standard mincemeat as the “luxury” ones tend to have a spooky artificial brandy taste. You can always make your own however *really?* or tart up the bought type with a splash of brandy.
Use your food processor here or a bowl and your hands. I chose the food processor, because I was on a tight time scale, of course. Take whichever appliance you are using and add the flour and icing sugar.
Next add the chopped cold butter and either process or rub in with your fingers until the mix is like damp breadcrumbs.
Next, zest and juice an orange and then add the zest to your flour and butter mixture. Add three tablespoons of the juice at first, then process or mix together well.
Once you have a smooth dough, stop processing. You may need another spoon of juice or two to get it to this stage, mine took four tablespoons.
Yum. Do have a little taste of this, to ensure it’s delicious then wrap the pastry in cling film and pop in the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes to rest.
When the resting time is up, pre heat your oven to 170 degrees, butter your bun tins then flour your work surface and rolling pin.
Cut the pastry into two pieces and pop one back in the fridge to keep cool until you need it. Place the other lump on the floured board and roll out so it’s nice and thin. Cut into rounds and place in your tins.
It’s not too soft to roll out but do keep everything well floured. Use the second piece of pastry from the fridge when you have used all of the first.
Roll out some tops and pop them to one side while you sort out the filling. I like to star-top my pies, but then I am a bit of a ponce. You are more than welcome to use smaller circles, or any shape you like.
Spoon a teaspoon of mincemeat into each base then add a small cube of marzipan and press it down.
Top these lovely little pies with a star top then brush with beaten egg for extra shininess. I made 24 pies but had enough pastry left for at least another 6 to 8, which I popped in the fridge to assemble later.
Pop them in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until bubbling and golden brown.
Leave these golden beauties to cool until just warm then ease them out of the tins and devour. In vast quantities.
Only 12 of my 24 made it into the freezer.
They do go terribly well with Baileys *what doesn’t?*
I have descended into the lack of restraint Christmas eating and drinking already and it’s only just the start of the festivities. Who can blame me though, with these warm, sweet, crisp and fragrant Marzipan Mince Pies on offer. I will be making these over the next three weekends to ensure I have at least a dozen in the freezer to be warmed in the oven when Christmas visitors come calling. If not, I will at least be able to offer them a glass of Bailey’s which I have also been stockpiling *in a locked cupboard*.
Marzipan Mince Pie Recipe
You will need a food processor or bowl and your hands and 2 x 12 bun tins, buttered
Makes 24 to 30 standard sized mince pies, or a lot of tiny ones
500g plain flour, strong if you have it
175g icing sugar
375g cold butter, cut into small pieces
zest and juice of an orange – you will only need 3-5 tablespoons of the juice
500g jar mincemeat
approx 100g marzipan, cubed
1 egg, beaten, to glaze
Pre heat your oven to 170 degrees fan assisted, once your pastry has rested.
In your food processor or in a large bowl, mix together the flour, icing sugar and chopped butter until the mixture is like damp breadcrumbs. Add the orange zest and three tablespoons of orange juice and process or mix again. The pastry is ready when the mixture clumps into a soft ball. I needed 4 tablespoons for mine, don’t add too much though as you don’t want it to be soggy. Wrap the pastry in cling film and pop in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.
When the pastry is ready, butter your 2 bun tins. Flour your work surface well and unwrap the pastry. Cut in half and put one half, re-wrapped in cling film, back in the fridge to stay cool until you need it. Roll your first piece out to a thickness of a pound coin and cut out your mince pie bottoms with a large-ish round cutter. Once you have 24 add a teaspoonful of mincemeat to each pie bottom. Add a small sugar cube sized cube of marzipan onto the mince meat then use the rest of the pastry to cut medium sized stars or circles for the tops. If you have any spare pastry, make some tiny additional mince pies or save for jam tarts.
Glaze the mince pies with the beaten egg and pop in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until they are golden brown and crisp. Store for up to a week in an airtight tin or put, well covered, in the freezer for up to three months.