I realise that I should be coming to you with the winner for the Gold Class Movie Competition but I have been busy working away to unveil the best fruit mince pie recipe. And, can I tell you, that takes time and care and total focus. I’m pretty sure none of you will know this but Jason LOVES a fruit mince pie. He literally runs to the shelves at this time of year and can consume, on average, a dozen of these things a week. Last year we tried all (and I mean ALL) of the store-made ones to determine which was the best (Brumby’s at Red Hill if I recall) so this year I had to up the ante and make my own. I enlisted the help of my wonderful girlfriend Kendall, who is a baker of the highest order, to join me on the challenge and here are our results.
We made two different fruit mince mixes – one from Donna Hay the other from Gourmet Traveller. Then we did three different pastries – one from Donna Hay, one from Gourmet Traveller and one from Jocelyn’s Provisions. Jason chose the winner. It was a close contest but the winner is the recipe below – buttery pastry, spicy mince with a surprise of luscious, dark chocolate. And surprisingly easy to make. Do you have a great fruit mince pie recipe? Are there any more we should try?
Fruit Mince Pies
270 gm dark brown sugar
200 gm each raisins, sultanas and currants
100 ml muscat
100 gm unsalted butter, melted
100 gm glacé orange, finely chopped
2 Granny Smith apples, coarsely grated
1 orange, finely grated rind and juice only
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp each of mixed spice, ground cloves and finely grated nutmeg
100 gm dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped
Mix together, except the chocolate, and leave for at least 24 hours or up to 2 weeks.
2 cups plain flour
3 tablespoons caster sugar
150g cold butter, chopped
2-3 tablespoons iced water (ended up closer to 4 for me, should be just enough that the mixture will clump)
Process the flour, sugar and butter in a food processor until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. While the motor is running, add enough iced water to form a smooth dough and process until just combined. Knead the dough lightly, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 mins.
Preheat oven to 180C. Add chocolate to fruit mince mixture, stir to combine. Roll out pastry to about 3mm thickness, cut into rounds and line a muffin tin with rounds. Spoon fruit mince mixture into each pastry-lined tin, leaving a 5mm gap at top. Top each with a pastry shape, (we used stars) and bake until pastry is golden and crisp (12-15 minutes). Cool completely in tins, then remove. Fruit mince tarts will keep stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.