So I think I’ve told you about these little beauties before. They”re a bit of a tradition in our house – originally pinched from Hubby’s mum, who used to make ‘pastry jammy cakey things’ – basically a jam tart topped with sponge. These are just a mincemeaty version. But be warned, they’re VERY addictive.
First of all you need to make some festive, orange scented pastry:
200g cold butter
400g plain flour
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 clementine, zest and juice
1 jar mincemeat, with added booze if you like
Firstly, preheat the oven to 180/gas 4. It’s easiest to do this in the food processor but you can do it by hand, or indeed just buy your pastry. I won’t tell.
Chop the cold butter into squares and add it to the flour, salt and sugar. Process it until it looks like breadcrumbs. Grate in the clementine zest and squeeze in the juice.
Now plop in the egg and pulse slowly until it comes together, adding 1 or 2 tablespoons of water until you get a nice soft dough.
Flour the work surface and squish the mixture together into a ball. Wrap it in clingfilm and chill for about 2o minutes. Next, roll it out to about 5-6mm thick, then cut out rounds using a pastry cutter and pop each round into a muffin tin.
Take your jar of mincemeat and pop in a couple of tablespoons of booze: brandy/sherry/port – whatever you’ve got. Stir well. Place a teaspoon of mincemeat into the bottom of each pastry case.
Leave them somewhere cool while you whip up a quick sponge mix (if you’re making lots, make it 170g/3 eggs):
115g caster sugar
115g self raising flour
1tsp vanilla extract
Cream the butter and sugar until really light and fluffy, then add in the vanilla extract, then the eggs, beating after each one. Now gently fold in the flour. If the mixture’s a bit stiff (this’ll depend on the size of your eggs), add a splash or two of milk. So now blob a spoonful of your cake mix on top of each mince pie.
Mix a teaspoon of sugar with half a teaspoon of cinnamon and sprinkle a little pinch on each cake, for added festiveness, and to fill your house with the gorgeous seasonal scent of cinnamon. Then just whack them in the oven for about 20 minutes and you’ll be delighted to discover a light muffin with a pastry base and a little mincemeat surprise in the middle.