Saturday, November 17, 2012

Whisky Mince Pies

Vesta's original recipe published in the Argus on 23 December 1937 calls for 1 gill of caramel, but since I don't know what form of caramel is meant and a later recipe is identical except that it uses brandy, I'm going with the hard stuff. 

Whisky Mince Pies

375g raisins 
250g sultana
125g currants
250g candied peel (orange and lemon)
2 large cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut into small cubes
250g suet, finely chopped, or 250g butter, melted
375g brown sugar
grated rind of one lemon and one orange and the juice of both
15g mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons whisky or brandy

Finely chop or put through a fine mincer the raisins, sultanas, currants, apples and peel. Add the sugar, spices, rind and juice of the orange and lemon, the suet or melted butter and the whisky. Mix thoroughly, pack into a jar, cover and leave until required.

For the cases, make a good shortcrust pastry using 150g butter to 240g plain flour and mixing with water to a fairly stiff paste. Do not forget a pinch of salt, and, if liked, a tablespoon of sugar may be added. Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture looks like rough breadcrumbs. Then add the water.

Make the pastry early in the morning so that it will not become soft. Roll out to 1/2 cm thickness.

The pies may be made in rather big patty-pans, the pans being lined with pastry, and the tops put on and pinched. Butter the patty-pans before lining them, to ensure that the pies will slip out easily when cooked. Brush the tops with milk and sprinkle with very little sugar.

Alternatively, form little cases by cutting rounds for the bottom and top, and a strip about 4cm wide for the sides. Brush the edge of the bottom circles with milk or water to make the sides adhere, and do the same where the ends of the side piece overlap a little. Fill each case as it is made, so that it keeps in shape. Put on the top, pinch the edges all round to give a fluted border, brush the top with milk mixed with a very little sugar, prick it all over with a sharp fork, and bake in a hot oven for about 20 minutes.

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