I’m sure I’ve written about this before, but when Mr E was little, his favourite treat was his mum’s ‘pastry jammy cakey things’ – basically a jam tart with a cake topping. Over the years I’ve made these in various different forms, but he especially loves the Christmassy mince pie version. We’re Christmas lovers here at Number One, and Christmas starts basically as soon as Mr E’s birthday is over in mid-November (we just about manage to reach December 1st before the tree goes up). This year, I’ve added festive clementine and cinnamon to the cake mix, but sadly still not thought of a decent name for them, so ‘clementine and cinnamon cakey mince pies’ will have to do.
I’ve added a little clementine to the pastry too as I tend to batch make it and use it for normal mince pies. Feel free to leave it out if you feel there’s too much orange going on. For the mincemeat, I usually use home made, or posh up the jarred version with a splash of Cointreau or sherry.
Clementine and cinnamon cakey mince pies
For the pastry, you’ll need:
200g cold butter
400g plain flour
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 clementine or orange, zest and juice
1 jar of mincemeat, plus extra booze
For the cakey topping, you’ll need:
115g golden caster sugar
1 clementine, zest and juice
115g self raising flour
1 tsp cinnamon
So firstly, make the pastry by combining the butter and flour together (either rub it in by hand or just use the mixer), then add in the caster sugar.
When the mixture looks breadcrumby, quickly mix the egg, clementine zest and juice together with a fork and add to the egg mixture, bringing together into a dough. Split into two (the pastry is enough for two batches), wrap in clingfilm and allow to chill for 10 – 15 minutes in the fridge.
I know this is picky, but if you can possibly cut everything out from your first rolling, you’ll get a much better pastry finish. If you keep squishing the dough together and rolling it out again, you’ll get tougher pastry and risk shrinkage too. Okay, that’s today’s lesson over.
Make up the sponge mix by creaming together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then adding the eggs (again, I find it easiest to mix them with the clementine juice and zest) a little at a time, and finally the flour and cinnamon. If the mixture curdles while you’re adding the eggs, just use a tablespoon of the flour to bring it back.
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees/gas 5
Now, it’s assembly time. So firstly roll out the pastry on a well floured work surface – the thinner the better – then cut out discs with a pastry cutter and press into your muffin tin.
Then add about a teaspoon of mincemeat to each pie, and finally top with a dollop of cake mixture.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes until they’re well risen and golden.
Et voila! Pastry mince pie orangey cinnamony cakey things. Of course you can leave out the orange and cinnamon topping and just make normal mince pies – use the other half of the pastry to add stars or full tops (brush with a little beaten egg before baking), or just use the cake mix to make muffins and forget the pastry altogether, it’s completely up to you! I’m going to have to work on that title, though. Have a lovely weekend!