There’s something about the first mince pie of the season – it’s a mix of excitement about the weeks ahead, along with nostalgia for Christmases gone by. The truth is, there is nothing more synonymous with Christmas than that gorgeous mix of rich fruit, brandy and buttery, flaky pastry. Just in case that wasn’t indulgent enough, we’ve knocked it up a gear this year by adding a little chocolate to our mincemeat in these delicious Chocolate Mince Pies.
The chocolate flavour is by no means overwhelming, it just compliments the clementine with yet another classic Christmas combination. And, let’s be honest, Christmas is never the time for holding back, so the more decadent the better, we say! Plus, if it’s your first time making mincemeat, it could not be easier than this recipe. The replacement of suet with butter means this is automatically vegetarian, ensuring even more of your friends and family will be able to enjoy the fruits of your minimal labour!
And it’s no means by accident that we’re sharing this recipe with you today: Stir-Up Sunday! It’s the traditional day in the calendar to embrace those rich dried fruits as we mix and steam those Christmas Puddings. So, why not extend the cooking fun? Don your Santa hat, put on that Christmas playlist, and get busy in the kitchen with these delicious chocolate mince pies!
Ingredients – makes 12 (+ a little extra mincemeat!)
- 600g dried mixed fruit
- 50g pecans, chopped
- 100g unsalted butter
- 200g light brown sugar
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp all spice
- Juice & zest of 2 clementines
- 150ml brandy
- 100g dark chocolate chips
- 250g plain flour
- 110g unsalted butter
- 40g icing sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- Water (approximately 4-6 tbsp)
- Start by making the mincemeat. Combine all ingredients except the brandy and the chocolate in a large saucepan. Heat gently until the butter has melted and the sugar has started to dissolve.
- Add the brandy and allow to simmer gently for about 10 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool. Once cool, stir in the chocolate chips. At this point you can place the mincemeat into sterilised jars to use at a later date. [You can find details of how to sterilise jars here.]
- If continuing straight away with your mince pies, start on the pastry. In a food processor, combine the flour, butter, sugar and egg. Gradually add the water until the pastry comes together. (If you don’t have a food processor, cube the butter and add to the flour in a large bowl. Gently rub the butter into the flour until no large clumps remain. Stir through the sugar and then add the beaten egg. Once again, gradually add the water until the pastry comes together.) NB. You may not need all of the water so remember to add gradually!
- Wrap the pastry in cling film and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to rest.
- Once the pastry has had time to rest, remove from the refrigerator and ensure your oven is preheating to 200C.
- Place the pastry on to a lightly floured surface and divide into 2/3 and 1/3. Roll out the 2/3 portion of pastry to approximately the thickness of a £1 coin.
- Use a 10cm circle pastry cutter to cut out circles. Carefully place the circles into a cupcake tin, ensuring they are fully pressed down.
- Fill each pastry cup 2/3 full of your chocolate mincemeat.
- Roll the remaining pastry out onto a floured surface, again until the thickness of a £1 coin. Use a star, snowflake or holly leaf cutter to cut shapes to top the mince pies with.
- Dip your finger into a little water and dab this around the edge of the mince pie cup before adding the top part of the pastry. Use the water to help seal the pastry top to the cup.
- Place into the oven for 15-20minutes or until golden brown.
- Allow to cool a little then dust with icing sugar and enjoy your Chocolate Mince Pies while still warm!
Fancy pitting your handmade creations against the supermarket version? Why not try our mince pie taste test?
Looking for a Christmas tipple to accompany your mince pies? We’ve got some great suggestions.
For more fabulous festive treats, check out our other recipes.