Christmas Fruit Mince Pies

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Dried fruit soaked in alcohol plays a big part in most sweet Christmas recipes and these fruit mince pies are no exception. At Bourke Street Bakery we use the very buttery paté sablée, which melts in your mouth. These aren’t the type of fruit mince tarts that can sit in your cupboard or refrigerator for weeks leading up to Christmas, although they will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator and can be frozen for up to 3 weeks. For best results, bake and eat as soon as the tarts are cool. You will need to soak the fruit for 1 week before making.

Ingredients

  • 75 g ( oz/½ cup) currants
  • 75 g ( oz) raisins
  • 30 g (1 oz) mixed peel (mixed candied citrus peel)
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 80 ml ( fl oz/ cup) apple cider
  • 50 g ( oz) unsalted butter
  • 75 g ( oz) soft brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon mixed (pumpkin pie) spice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 300 g (10½ oz) apples, cored, peeled and cut into 5 mm (¼ inch) cubes
  • 25 g (1 oz) blanched almonds, roughly chopped
  • finely grated zest of ½ lemon
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 quantity sweet pastry (pâté sablée)
  • caster (superfine) sugar, for sprinkling

Method

Put the currants, raisins and mixed peel in a bowl and pour over the brandy and apple cider, mixing well to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for at least 1 week.

Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat and add the brown sugar, mixed spice and cinnamon, stirring well. Add the apple and cook for 2–3 minutes, or until softened but holding their shape. Remove from the heat and fold into the macerated fruit. Add the almonds, lemon zest and juice, mixing well to combine.

Brush twenty 6.5 cm (2⅔ inch) individual tart tins with a little butter. Roll out the pastry following the instructions and cut out the bases to line the tins. Re-roll the pastry as needed to cut out twenty lids.

Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F/Gas 3). Place about teaspoons of fruit mince into the base of each tart. To attach the lids, brush the rim of the pastry base and the lid with a little egg wash and lay the lid over the base. Squeeze gently between your thumb and index finger to make a good seal. Make a small hole in the middle to allow steam to escape and sprinkle a little caster sugar over the top of each pie. Bake the pies for 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden.