A Countdown to Christmas Recipe: Sugar Frosted Orange & Brandy Mince Pies

A Countdown to Christmas Recipe: Sugar Frosted Orange & Brandy Mince Pies

A Countdown to Christmas Recipe: Sugar Frosted Orange & Brandy Mince Pies

A Countdown to Christmas Recipe:

Sugar Frosted Orange & Brandy Mince Pies

A Countdown to Christmas Recipe: Sugar Frosted Orange & Brandy Mince Pies

A Countdown to Christmas Recipe: Sugar Frosted Orange & Brandy Mince Pies

Nestled in the pantry amongst all my other tins and trays are two very special pie tins, or patty tins as they are sometimes known; belonging to me now, they were my grandmother’s and I treasure them more than anything else in my kitchen. Old and battered they may be, but they make the most amazing Mince Pies and other pastry favourites such as butter tarts, jam tarts and small savoury hand pies – they have beautiful shell and leaf patterns that are embossed on to any pastry case you bake in them, and their non-Teflon tin finish makes sure that there are no soggy bottoms too! Although I do use them throughout the year, I take them out with a special reverence at Christmastime for my mince-pie making sessions, and the memories of a dearly loved grandma and her warm, cosy kitchen come flooding back with such an intensity, that I can almost hear her telling me to make sure I wash my hands before I start to help her in the kitchen.

A Countdown to Christmas Recipe: Sugar Frosted Orange & Brandy Mince Pies

A Countdown to Christmas Recipe: Sugar Frosted Orange & Brandy Mince Pies

Whereas the tins used to be my grandmother’s, the basic pastry recipe I am sharing today is based on my mum’s shortcrust pastry, and is made with self-raising flour and NOT plain flour; this results in a lighter, fluffier pastry that is light and buttery, and softer than usual. Mum also adds orange zest and juice to her pastry sometimes too, but I am known for my Sugar Frosted Orange & Brandy Mince Pies that uses a  tangy orange pastry, and I am asked to make them every year. Basically, I glaze my pastry lids with beaten egg white and a dusting of caster sugar before baking them, and this creates a light almost meringue style finish with a crunchy coating of frosted sugar on top – very seasonal and also very pretty too.

Sugar Frosted Orange & Brandy Mince Pies

Sugar Frosted Orange & Brandy Mince Pies

I am not a “Mince Pie Tweaker”, I have made other types of mince pies in the past,  but it is my plain, unadulterated classic pies that I keep coming back to every year, and this recipe belongs to that culinary canon of “tried and tested” recipes that my family and friends like. I also like to snip the tops of my pies with a pair of scissors, to make a small cross shape, it makes the pies look almost Victorian, and again, I can remember my grandmother doing this to all her pastry lids too. These mince pies can still be made ahead of time, and then popped into the freezer UNCOOKED and IN their trays, wait until they are frozen, then ease them out of the tins (which is very easy if you have greased and buttered them) and store them in a sealed container or freezer bag until you need them. When you want to bake them, take them out of the freezer and sit them back in the pie tin, allow them to come back to room temperature for half and hour and then bake them as usual.

Sugar Frosted Orange & Brandy Mince Pies

Sugar Frosted Orange & Brandy Mince Pies

This is my third recipe in my “Countdown to Christmas Recipe mini series” and I hope that you all enjoy them as much as we do. Today is the last Sunday in Advent, so we will be lighting our fourth candle – it’s also the last day I plan to have in the kitchen baking and prepping before the “big day”. If you are still getting ready for Christmas, then this is the perfect time to make these little mince pies, either to eat now or the pop in the freezer for next week. Have a wonderful day and I will be back with my LAST “Countdown to Christmas Recipe” soon, as well as some new giveaways and kitchen tips and hints for the festive season. Karen 

Father Christmas Happy Christmas

Sugar Frosted Orange & Brandy Mince Pies

Serves 12 mince pies
Prep time 45 minutes
Cook time 12 minutes
Total time 57 minutes
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Dessert, Side Dish, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot
Occasion Casual Party, Christmas, Formal Party
Region British
By author Karen S Burns-Booth
My mum's special shortcrust pastry made with orange zest and juice make the perfect packaging with these wee mince pies that have a sugar frosted glaze with a kick of brandy. Serve them warm with brandy or rum butter and/or cream.

Ingredients

  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 115g butter (chilled and cut into small pieces)
  • zest of 1 orange
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 12 tablespoons of mincemeat
  • brandy (to taste)
  • 1 egg white (beaten)
  • caster sugar

Note

My mum's special shortcrust pastry made with orange zest and juice make the perfect packaging with these wee mince pies that have a sugar frosted glaze with a kick of brandy. Serve them warm with brandy or rum butter and/or cream.

Directions

Step 1 Pre-heat oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6 and grease a 12 hole patty tin with a little butter.
Step 2 Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the butter. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until it all resembles fine crumbs.
Step 3 Add the orange zest and then add the orange juice, bit by bit mixing with a knife until the mixture comes together to make shortcrust pastry. Cover the pasty in cling film and leave to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Step 4 Add some brandy to the mincemeat, unless there is already brandy in the mincemeat.
Step 5 Roll out the pastry and cut out 12 circles to fit the patty tin - place the pastry in the patty tin and then add a tablespoon of mincemeat to each pastry case.
Step 6 Re-roll the pastry and cut 12 smaller circles for lids, place them on top, pinching the edges together with a fork or your fingers.
Step 7 Snip the top of each pastry top with some scissors to make an air hole.
Step 8 Brush the beaten egg white on to each pastry lid and then sprinkle some caster sugar over the top.
Step 9 Bake in pre-heated oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and the egg white and sugar coating have made a frosted glaze.
Step 10 Allow to cool slightly and then gently ease the pies out of the tin and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Sugar Frosted Orange & Brandy Mince Pies

The other two recipes in my Countdown to Christmas Recipe mini series are:

Christmas Sausage, Sage and Bacon Stuffing Loaf

A Countdown to Christmas Recipe: Christmas Sausage, Sage and Bacon Stuffing Loaf

Christmas Sausage, Sage and Bacon Stuffing Loaf

Frazzled Kale and Frisee salad with Pomegranate, Persimmon and Walnuts

A Countdown to Christmas Recipe: Frazzled Kale and Frisee salad with Pomegranate, Persimmon and Walnuts

Frazzled Kale and Frisee salad with Pomegranate, Persimmon and Walnuts

NB: My mum and grandma always used to make a Mincemeat Pasty with any pastry that was left! I just had to share the one I made…..

Mincemeat Pasty

Mincemeat Pasty

Christmas Trumpets

A Countdown to Christmas Recipe: Sugar Frosted Orange & Brandy Mince Pies

A Countdown to Christmas Recipe: Sugar Frosted Orange & Brandy Mince Pies

A Countdown to Christmas Recipe: Sugar Frosted Orange & Brandy Mince Pies

A Countdown to Christmas Recipe: Sugar Frosted Orange & Brandy Mince Pies

Recipe for my Mincemeat is here:

The Scented Home, Flowers and Boozy Mincemeat for Let’s Make Christmas

Fat-free Boozy Mincemeat

Fat-free Boozy Mincemeat

Comments

  1. says

    Karen, your pies look delicious… interesting that you use self raising flour. I love that you have your grandmother’s tins! They are so beautiful, no wonder you treasure them. Happy Christmas to you.

    • says

      Thanks so much Lizzy! Yes, I always make my pastry with plain flour, but mum makes hers with SR flour and it is so light and fluffy! Happy Christmas to you too! Karen

  2. says

    Oh I do like a hint of orange too in my mince pie pastry, and shall be baking mine today along with a few other festive goodies! Great tips on using self- raising flour for a lighter pastry, and just egg white and sugar on the top for a near meringue like finish, might try these out!

    • says

      Thanks Maureen – I am lucky to have to tins as so many people threw them out with the advent of non-stick tins. Merry Christmas to you too!

  3. says

    I love all of your trays – so pretty! Although I am not really one for mince pies I must say that these do look very inviting and could possibly turn me into a believer! Have a wonderful Christmas, Karen. Enjoy every day

    • says

      It’s the quality of the mincemeat that makes a good mince pie Kellie, and my own home-made mincemeat is so frjuity and has NO fat in it! Have a wonderful Christmas too and see you in 2014 I hope! Karen

  4. says

    Happy Christmas Karen! Hope you and your family have a lovely relaxing break. I do adore a mince pie. I think the average person eats 27 per Christmas season but I can eat easily triple that! And what a glorious version you have here xx

  5. says

    As an Italian I am certainly not very experienced at making mince pies, or let’s say, I have never attempted them and I just have shop bought ones. Not good enough really!
    I really like this recipe and your tutorial. You make look everything so magical and special. I love all the food you do!
    Have a fab Christmas!

  6. Abra Sonnanstine says

    Hi Karen,

    Those tins are so beautiful and it’s lovely that you can use them and remember your grandmother. I’m going to keep my eyes out for something similar.

    My father-in-law made something that was crust on the bottom, jam in the middle, and sponge on the top. He always made a big batch when we came up to visit and they have wonderful memories attached to them. Do you know what they were?

    Happy New Year!

    Abra

  7. Emily P says

    those mince pies look amazing – I’ve got to try them!! I always think homemade mince pies taste best, the pastrys always got so much more flavour.

  8. says

    Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe with us, I’ve never made shortcrust pastry with SF flour, but I might give it a try when I make mince pies next Christmas. It’s great to see you using your Grandmothers tins, I also have a few baking bits from my Grandmother, who was always baking yummy things too.

  9. christy beckett says

    These look fab, I also have my Grandmothers trays and I’m the only one in my house allowed to use them :) Wish I had found this a month ago but I’m going to have a go as I’ve still got some of my Mums homemade mincemeat left x

  10. Carol Emmett says

    My family pastry recipe also uses s/r flour – but it’s made with lard, so it’s incredibly short (8oz flour, pinch of salt, 4oz lard and an egg to bind – plus however much water then has to be added to get to the right consistency). Just NEVER ‘rest’ it, you’ll lose it! It’s great for savoury and basic sweet recipes – so we would always have a corned beef and potato plate pie, with some jam tarts made from the rollings. And for mince pies, I totally agree with the patty tins for just the right ratio of pastry to mincemeat. It’s great to see ‘family’ recipes being treasured and passed on :-)

  11. says

    I’ve just come across you on instagram and I’m also following you both on there and here on your blog. Your mince pies look so festive and they want to make me bake a batch even though the season for them is over. I look forward to taking a little look around your site and for your upcoming posts. Have a lovely Sunday!

    • says

      Hi Laura! LOVELY to meet you via Instagram and now here! Likewise, I have bookmarked your site to have a look later on today! I am just about to post my recipe for Sunday! It’s great to meet new people…….you have made my day! Karen

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