Who doesn’t love crunching into a warm mince pie with icing sugar dust tickling our noses?! Even we admit to ocassionally throwing shop bought mince pies into the trolley because who has time to make homemade ones, right?  Well – us actually. Especially because we decided to mix things up a bit with some mince pie traybake options this year. We are sharing with you a classic Irish homemade mincemeat recipe that has been passed down the generations (thank you Marj) so this is definitely one to stick into your recipe book.  It is super super easy and is made in 10 minutes flat – plus it keeps in the fridge for weeks or months actually.

You have a couple of choices for the mince meat traybake – both have a shortcrust pastry base but you can either choose to add a crumble topping or a pastry cut shape topping (we chose a cherry obviously). Or as a third option you could place another sheet of pastry on top of the mincemeat for a more traditional mince pie traybake.

Now in true Morello style we have a few shortcuts if you are short of time (aren’t we all) or just want a cheeky cheat. You can either buy or make your own pastry (ahem – we bought ours) and you can (if you really must) buy a jar of ready made mincemeat but it won’t taste half as good as the homemade option. Just saying!

What you need …

For the Mincemeat

  • 175g Cox Pippin apples finely chopped (weighted when peeled and cored – approx 3 apples)
  • 25g orange candied peel (or mixed peel if you can’t get orange candied)
  • 225g Raisins
  • 225g Currants
  • 110g Sultanas
  • 175g seedless red grapes (halved or quartered)
  • 1 tablespoon blanched almonds (buy the chopped up ones)
  • 1 lemon (grated rind and juice)
  • 175g light brown sugar
  • 25g butter melted
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 measure of brandy /cognac (you can also use sherry)

For the Pastry

  • 2 x shopbought shortcrust pastry sheets OR

Homemade Shortcrust Pastry

  • 225g plain flour
  • pinch salt
  • 175g butter (cubed and at room temperature)
  • 1 dessert spoon caster sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2-3 tablespoons water
  • Chill before using for at least 30 mins

for the crumble

  • 100g self raising flour
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 75g butter (cubed and at room temperature)
  • mix all ingredients together until they resemble breadcrumbs

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180c fan.
  2. Take the pastry out of the fridge to allow it to get to room temperature so it’s easier to handle.
  3. For the mincemeat place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix! That’s it. If you’re not using it immediately cover with cling film and put in the fridge. So long as you add the brandy (and it really isn’t a strong taste but isn’t half as nice without it!) then the mixture will keep for weeks in the fridge. This mix quantity was enough to cover our traybake and we had a little leftover.
  4. If you are opting for a crumble topping then mix all the ingredients together using the tips of your fingers. It should resemble a breadcrumb texture.
  5. For pastry cut out toppings, cut your desired shapes from some rolled out pastry and pop in the fridge for about 15 minutes (this ensures that the pastry keeps its shape in the oven)
  6. Grease a rectangular tray (ours is 12 x 9 inches)
  7. Place a sheet of shortcrust pastry on the base – we allowed the crust to go up the sides but alternatively just place the tray on TOP of the pastry and cut out the base shape. That way it will fit the base perfectly.
  8. Spoon the mincemeat mixture on top – be generous but try not to take too much liquid with it!
  9. Put your topping on – whether it is the crumble, pastry cut outs or a full pastry sheet.
  10. Pop in the oven for approx 25 – 30 mins but keep an eye on it. You are looking for a golden crumble topping.
  11. Once cooled slide out onto a baking tray but resist the urge to slice it until it is completely cold. Use a serrated knife to carefully cut the crust edge without it breaking.
  12. Dust with icing sugar and enjoy with a dollop of brandy butter or cream!

If you enjoyed this you might enjoy our bacon & halloumi mini bites