Alison Holst is our most trusted NZ foodie according to a recent survey, so who better to ask than amazing Alison for a perfect Christmas Mince Pie recipe…

To some people, Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without a mince pie. While there are some good bought ones out there, they’re seldom as good as the homemade version.

We think the difference is usually in the filling. This recipe has been handed down through our family for at least three generations, and if you have a food processor, it’s really very easy and delicious.

Margaret’s Easy Mincemeat

For three to four cups:

Rind of 1 lemon

Rind of 1 orange

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 large granny smith apples

Juice of 1 lemon

2 cups sultanas

2 cups mixed fruit

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp mixed spice

1 tsp grated nutmeg

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/4 cup brandy, whisky, rum, sherry or port

Peel the coloured rind from the lemon and orange with a potato peeler. Place it in a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade, add the white sugar and process until the rind is very finely chopped.

Add the brown sugar, the unpeeled apples cut into chunks, lemon juice, half the sultanas and half the mixed fruit. Process until the apple is finely chopped. Add the remaining fruit and the flavourings, and process briefly.

You can use this immediately or transfer it to clean airtight containers and refrigerate until required (two to three weeks). Freeze for longer storage.

Mince Pies

Alison likes to make her own sweet short pastry, while if feeling virtuous, having made fruit mince, Simon is happy to use bought frozen pastry.

Either way, roll the pastry until it’s about three millimetres thick. Mini-muffin pans make lovely little pies. For these you’ll need to cut six-centimetre rounds (use a fluted cutter, a round cutter or a glass) and press them gently into non-stick sprayed mini-muffin tins.

Drop a heaped teaspoon of fruit mince into each one, then finish by placing pastry on top (ball up and roll out the trimmings for these) before baking at 180 degrees Celsius for 10 to 12 minutes or until the pastry begins to brown.

If you want to make slightly larger pies in patty pans, you’ll need an 8cm-9cm cutter.

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