Mulled Wine & Mince Pies, The Best Crimbo Combo

No two food stuffs conjure up ideas of Christmas the way these two do - a perfect pairing of spices, cinnamon and succulent fruity flavours. And any food being served hot is always welcome in the winter months. 

Last week we put our reading glasses on and studied lots of recipes and old cookery books to come up with what we think is the tastiest combination of fruit, booze and pastry for our mince pies. We did come up with a VERY traditional recipe using pork mince, and which was surprisingly a big crowd pleaser (certain foolish people had written these off as a christmas car crash) but we will share that one with you another day as it maybe isn’t to everyones tastes. 

The mulled wine however we didn’t need to think about as Gourmet Spice Co have catered for all our wintery drink needs with their Mulled Wine Spice Kit, only £2.75 and one of those hassle free items that’s always great to have in the house this time of year. 

You simply need to choose your tipple of choice, juice for the kids, red wine for the adults or we’ve heard cider is also very good, add in the spice mix and gently warm in a pan. Simple. 

Now to the mince pies. 

You should ideally make your mixture a couple of weeks before you want to make your pies so it has time to mature and for all the flavours to combine. We packed ours into air tight jars like this and put them in the fridge to make sure they stayed at their best. 

We also think they look pretty nice, and would make a lovely present if you tied a luggage tag around them. 

Ingredients For Mincemeat

Jar of Drunken Raspberries - separated the whole raspberries from gin

100g Sultanas

100g Currants

50g Dried Cranberries

75g Brown Sugar
2 x Granny Smith Apples, peeled & finely chopped
Orange Zest
1tsp Cinammon
1tsp Ginger
1/2 tsp Ground Cloves

1. Dissolve the brown sugar with gin in a pan on a low heat then add the spices and orange zest
2. Add the other ingredients and stir so well combined. 
3. Keep on a low heat, with the lid on until the fruit has absorbed the alcohol and infused with the spices and zest. 
4. Take off the heat and stir in the raspberries, place in a jar and leave to mature for a couple of weeks.
For the Pastry 

300g Plain Flour
50g Vegetarian Suet
150g Butter
Ice Cold Water
1. Use a food processor to blend the flour, suet and butter so it makes a bread crumb consistency. 
2. Add the very cold water slowly whilst the food processor is still blending until it comes together. 
3. Stop the processor and scoop out the pastry and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to chill. 
4. Cut the pastry in half and take one half and roll it out until it reaches the thickness of a pound coin. Use a pastry cutter larger than the hole in your baking tray to cut out the bases of your pies and press gently into the tins. 
5. When you have done all your bases, take the other half of pasty and any bits you might have left over and roll out to the same thickness, use a slightly smaller cutter than the one use to make your bases for the lids.
6. Fill the bases 3/4 full of mincemeat, place a lid on and press the edges to seal and brush the top with milk.  
7. Put the mince pies into an oven which is pre heated to 200C for 20 minutes. 
A lovely winter snack we think, especially when enjoyed hot from the oven!