Fiona is an expert in life skills cookery and she contributed to numerous publications including Leith Baking Bible, Leiths Vegetarian Bible, Leith Book of Cakes, Leiths Cookery Bible and Leiths Complete Christmas. In 2009 she opened doors of The Edinburgh New Town Cookery School; the school offers professionals and amateurs the opportunity to study a number of courses including three-month certificate and sex-month diploma courses, as well as short themed courses.
Fiona comments on this recipe “Homemade mincemeat is absolutely delicious and this version is very quick and simple to make. The mincemeat and pastry recipe can also be used to make a large tart, which works very well as a Christmas dessert served with ginger ice cream or brandy flavoured crème anglaise.”
Homemade Mince Pies
For the pastry:
225g/8oz plain flour
140g/5oz butter, cut into cubes
Pinch of salt
For the mincemeat:
45g/1½ oz currants
85g/3oz dried cranberries
45g/1½ oz flaked almonds
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Grated zest ½ orange
1 ½ tsp mixed spice
2 tbsp whisky or brandy
55g/2oz melted butter
1 ripe banana
Make the pastry by sifting the flour into a large bowl. Add the butter and salt and rub in until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add approximately 5 tablespoons of ice cold water. Bring together to a ball of dough adding a little more water if necessary. Flatten into a circle and wrap in cling film. Chill for 15-20 minutes.
Wash and grate the apple, including the skin. Put into a bowl and add the sultanas, raisins, cranberries, almonds, lemon zest, orange zest, mixed spice, whisky and melted butter. Mash the banana and add to the mincemeat.
Roll out two thirds of the pastry and cut into medium sized circles using a pastry cutter. Line a 12 hole patty tin with the pastry. Place a spoonful of mincemeat into each pastry case. Roll out the rest of the pastry and cut into stars. Top each open pie with a star lid. Chill in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 190˚C/Fan oven 170˚C/gas mark 5.
Bake in the centre of the preheated oven for 15-20.
Cool slightly and remove carefully from the tin. Dust with icing sugar just before serving.
(That's Christmas acknowledges the invaluable help of Fiona Burrell and Svetlana Hirst in bringing this recipe to the readers of That's Christmas.)