Mince Pies & Mincemeat & Cherry Tarts

A couple of recipes, one for traditional Mince Pies and another recipe using the same pastry recipe for making Mincemeat and Cherry Tarts which have a meringue, cherry and almond topping rather than a pastry top.

MINCE PIES

Cook time: 15 mins;
Makes: 22 pies

Ingredients for the pastry:
225g (8 oz) self-raising flour
Pinch of salt
25g (1oz) hard margarine
75g (3oz) lard

For the filling: 350g (12oz) mincemeat

Step One : Put the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Cut the margarine and lard into little pieces. Add the fats to the flour and rub in with your fingertips. Add sufficient cold water to bind the pastry together, then knead lightly.

Step Two : Put half of the pastry on a lightly floured board and roll out thinly. Cut out 11 rounds with a 75cm (3in) pastry cutter and use to line a greased bun tray.

Step Three : Put a heaped teaspoonful of mincemeat into each pastry case. Use the left-over pastry and trimmings to make lids. Cut two little nicks in each lid with a knife, then dampen the edges before securing in place. Press lightly round the edges of each pie to seal.

Step Four : Make 11 more pies in the same way. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180oC/350oF/Gas Mark 4 for about 15 minutes, until lightly coloured.

Tip: Vary these pies by adding 115g (4oz) of cranberries to the filling, and cutting out pastry stars for lids.

MINCEMEAT AND CHERRY TARTS

Cook time: 20 mins
Makes: 24 pies

Ingredients:
Pastry recipe as for Mince Pies.

For the filling:
400g (14oz) mincemeat

For the topping:
2 medium egg whites
115g (4oz) caster sugar
50g (2oz) mixed glace cherries, washed, dried and chopped;
25g (1oz) flaked almonds

Step One : Follow methods 1 and 2 as for Mince pies – but use all of the pastry to make 24 tart cases.

Step Two : Put a heaped teaspoonful of mincement into each tart case. Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Gradually whisk in half the sugar, then fold in the rest. Fold in the glace cherries, and pile the meringue on top of the pies. Sprinkle the flaked almonds over the meringue.

Step Three : Then bake tarts in a preheated oven at 190oC / 375oF / Gas 5 for 20 minutes, or until the pastry is cooked and the meringue is lightly browned.

You can find alternative Mince Pie recipes in this book ….

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