It’s that time of year when the mince pies come out of hiding. Some of us love the rich fruity flavour and some of us don’t, but this is a boozy recipe that’ll please everyone!* This is one for the pastry lovers, fruit enthusiasts or those that simply indulge ‘because it’s Christmas’. With the added sweet treat of sloe gin, here’s Gin Festivals mince pie recipe ‘Boozy extra?’ Of course....you should know us by now!
Oh, and as one member of staff recently admitted, some people think there’s meat in mince pies, just make sure your guests are clear on what they are getting…!
*Disclaimer we take no responsibility for that one awkward relative that doesn’t like them.
For the pastry
Either buy 375g shortcrust pastry or if you want to go the extra mile make your own:
375g Plain flour
260g Unsalted butter, softened*
125g Caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 Large egg
* Take the butter out of the fridge at least half an hour before to start baking to soften - this will make mixing your ingredients much easier!
For the mincemeat
Unsalted butter, for greasing
Plain flour, for dusting
200 g good-quality mincemeat
250ml Sloe Gin - we recommend Addingham Sloe Gin to add a subtle almond flavour.
½ an Apple, peeled and chopped into small chunks
2 Balls of Stem ginger, finely chopped
75 g Dried cranberries
50 g Dried apricots, finely chopped
A pinch or two of mixed spice
1 Large free-range or organic egg
Icing sugar, for dusting
To make the pastry
Set oven to 180C (fan) /Gas 5. Grease a 12 hole tin with butter.
Pop the flour and butter into a large mixing bowl and rub together until it feels like breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and egg and mix in. Pop the batter into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle a little flour onto your kitchen table and tip the mixture onto it, then fold until the pastry comes together. This does not take long - it should be a bit crumbly! Wrap your pastry in clingfilm and put in the fridge for 10 mins.
While you are waiting get your mincemeat ready (see below). Then sprinkle flour onto your kitchen table and use your rolling pin to roll half the pastry out to approx the thickness of a pound coin. Use a pastry cutter or a tall glass to cut out 12 circles, then pop them into your and put back in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
While your mince pie bases are in the fridge, roll out the second half of the pastry to the same thickness. Using a smaller cutter or glass than before, cut out another 12 circles (or stars if you are making open mince pies), to be your pie lid. Knead (squash) the leftover pastry together, roll it out and cut into shapes to decorate the tops of your pies (stars are nice and easy!).
To make the mincemeat
The best way to make your mince pies really stand out is to buy some good-quality mincemeat and then add a few extras to really make the flavours dance.
Spoon your mincemeat into the mixing bowl, breaking it up as you go. Then pour in the sloe gin, add the apple, ginger, dried fruits and mixed spice and mix together. You really can add as much or as little gin as you like - if you leave it for a few mins the fruit will soak up the alcohol, the longer you leave it, the more you can add!
Once you’re happy get your mince pie bases out of the fridge and add approx 1 tbsp mincemeat mixture into each one.
Brush the edge of each pie with a little beaten egg to help the lids stick. Then lay your lid circles over the top, crimp the edges with the end of a teaspoon to make them stick and look pretty.
Top each lid with your stars and brush again with the egg
Bake in your pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the pastry is golden on top. Then all you need to do is leave to cool before dusting with icing sugar and letting your gin buddies dig in!
Top tip: Adding a sprinkle of ground cinnamon to your icing sugar is gorgeous too.
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