Nutty Mincepies

nutty-mincepie-close-upThis weekend we were in Edinburgh and had a really delicious meal at Jamie’s Italian. At the end of the meal we were all given a little mince-pie that had a crumble topping. Whilst we all enjoyed it, I reckoned I could recreate and maybe even make it a little better (oh! The arrogance!)

Well, I don’t know if it’s better, but the version I’ve come up with is certainly very easy and tastes even better the day after it’s made – bonus!

If you adapt this yourself, why not comment below and share your top tips with us all? I’m ready to take notes.

Nutty Mince-pies – makes about 18

nutty-mincepiesIngredients

  • 180g + 60g plain flour
  • 90g + 40g butter
  • teaspoon of demerara sugar
  • few tablespoons of icy cold water and a few drops of lemon juice added
  • (optional): handful of nuts of your choice: I used a tablespoon of flaked almonds and a small¬†handful of hazelnuts because it’s all I had to hand
  • half a small jar of mincemeat (I used about 200g total)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 210degC (gas 7) and take out your mince-pie tins. Clear space in your fridge to precariously balance the tins on.
  2. Make the shortcrust pastry:
    • In a food processor (with the whirly double blade), whizz up 180g plain flour with 90g cold butter.
    • When it’s the consistency of breadcrumbs, add icy cold water and lemon juice a tablespoon at a time, pulsing the processor. You’ll only need 2-3 tablespoons.
    • Stop just as the dough is coming together.
    • Roll and cut out the base of the mince-pies (ie make pie cases). I managed 18 with this amount of dough, but it depends how thinly you roll it – you might make more or fewer.
    • Line the mince-pie tins with the pie cases and put in the fridge.
  3. Make the crumble:
    This is about as dusty as you want to get the nutty crumble - still lumps of butter visible

    This is about as dusty as you want to get the nutty crumble – still lumps of butter visible

    in the same food processor (don’t wash it; no need) add 60g plain flour, 40g butter, teaspoon of demerara sugar and a handful of nuts. Whizz it up until it’s the consistency you like. Stop before it’s dust, though, or it’ll be dry and cloying! (And if it does that, serve your pies with cream or custard – sorted)

  4. When the oven’s at temperature, take the mince-pies out the fridge and add a teaspoon of mincemeat into each pie-case.
  5. Spoon the crumble over the top. For me, it worked out about a tablespoon of crumble mix per pie, but it all depends on how many nuts you added.
  6. Bake for 15 – 20 mins.
  7. Remove to a wire rack immediately because any spilled mince-pie mix will cool to concrete, cementing your pies to the tin forever.
  8. Eat alone, with a cuppa, slathered in custard, or drowned in cream.

Easy Quick Crafting: Lavender Bags

The minxes were playing in the garden first thing this morning when it was sunny. They’re still obsessed with making perfume out of petals, just like I was at their age: Daisy Dream, Lovely Lavender, Pongy Poppy…

I saw Midi pull the flowery parts off the nearly-dried lavender and had an idea – why not make super-simple flower sachets? I have a ton of fabric, lace, ribbon, pinking shears and flowers. Perfect!

First I got her to draw around an upturned cereal bowl with a biro on some fabric. She then cut the circle out with pinking shears.

Maxi cutting out a fabric circle

Maxi cutting out a fabric circle

While she did that, I got some single-sided interfacing, folded it in half, and cut out a square. I used the edge of a hot iron to fuse 2 sides of it. Midi poured in her petals and seeds and I fused the remaining open side shut with the iron. Ta-da! The fastest, most secure little petal sachet EVER!

Midi with unsealed sachet of interfacing

Midi with unsealed sachet of interfacing

Then Midi scooped up her fabric circle, stuffed the petal sachet inside, then used ribbon and lace to tie the circle together into a little bag. It’s now under her pillow.

Midi's finished lavender bag

Midi’s finished lavender bag

Mini and Maxi made one each, too: once Mini managed to peel her nose off hers, she decided to use hers to air the stuffy living room whereas Maxi’s is tucked into a stuffed toy. Ah well – super-mega crafting brownie points for me today from the girls, and it took literally 60 seconds to tidy up afterwards. Win!