Friday, December 28, 2012

nana's fruit mince pies.

During the Christmas season, the stores here quickly fill up with a whole section of traditional Aussie treats such as fruit cake, christmas pudding (nothing like the American pudding... more like cake really), short bread cookies and fruit mince pies.

Each year, sometime around the end of November, Max comes home from the shops with a box of fruit mince pies. And each year he puts the entire box in the freezer and sits down to tell me the story of the frozen fruit mince pies stealers.

The legend goes something like this:

Every year around Christmas time, Max's mum would make dozens of fruit mince pies for the season. After baking and assembling them, she would stack them neatly in the freezer ready for defrosting when needed. Each night after the family was tucked in bed, Max and his brother would sneak out of their rooms and into the freezer for their fill of mum's fruit mince pies. The boys were sneaky though. Each time they snuck a pie from the stash they would rearrange them as to make it look like there were none missing. Slowly but surely the pies would disappear and to this day his mum was never the wiser... Oh and Max now only likes fruit mince pies when they are frozen.

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And luckily for him, his mum was here with us for Christmas this year and more than willing to recreate these infamous pies for all of us to share.

Nana Val's Fruit Mince Pie Recipe:
3oz butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda (baking soda)
1 cup fruit mince meat
1 grated green apple

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Cream butter and sugar together. Throughly mix egg through butter and sugar mixture. Add sifted flour and bicarb soda. Knead lightly and chill mixture in the refrigerator for one hour.

Fruit Mince:
While pastry chills, combine fruit mince and grated green apple. Nana Val uses pre-made fruit mince but you can find a recipe to make your own here if you live in a country that doesn't sell pre-made fruit mince.

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Preheat your oven to 180 C (350 F) and grease the inside of your pie moulds. Val used a few different muffin tins we had at the house and they seemed to work just perfectly :)

Lightly sprinkle a few table spoons of flour over your work area and roll out the chilled pastry dough. Using a cup or cookie cutter, cut out 12 circles. Place pastry circles into the muffin tin and fill with fruit mince. Re-roll the remaining pastry and cut out 12 more circles to use at tops for each pie. Pinch the sides of the pastry together, forming a small pie. Using a fork, poke the top of each pie several times.

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Bake pies at 180 C for 20-30 minutes or until pie tops look lightly golden.

Remove from oven, place on a pretty plate, sprinkle with icing sugar (powdered sugar) and enjoy :)  

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Of course, I was too busy stuffing my face with warm fruit mince pies that I didn't end up getting any pictures of the finished product.... oops! But I can tell you now, they were good!

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