You either love them or you hate them, but there is no denying it: mince pies are a staple of the Christmas diet (to use the term loosely).
As with most things in life, we believe adding a splash of gin to these festive pastries will liven things up a bit! You can either pop to your local Aldi and pick up some ready made ginny mince pies, or, why not have a bash at making your own? Plus, this way, the measure of booze is entirely up to you...
Ginny Mince Pies
For the mincemeat
Unsalted butter, for greasing
Plain flour, for dusting
200g good-quality mincemeat
250ml sloe gin - either bought or homemade
½ an apple, peeled and chopped into small chunks
1 Tsp stem ginger, finely chopped
75g dried cranberries
50g dried apricots, finely chopped
A pinch of mixed spice
1 Large free-range egg
Icing sugar, for dusting
For the pastry
Either buy 375g shortcrust pastry or if you want to make your own:
375g Plain flour
260g Unsalted butter
125g Caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
1 Large egg
To make the mincemeat:
Spoon your mincemeat into the mixing bowl, pour in the sloe gin, add the apple, ginger, dried fruits and mixed spice and mix together.
You can add as much or as little gin as you like (we're not judging!) Tip: leave it for a few mins each time and 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 1⁄2 tbsp mincemeat mixture into each one.
Brush the edge of each pie with a 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 for decoration.
Bake in your pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the pastry is golden on top.
To make the pastry:
Preheat oven to 180C (fan) /Gas 5. Using the butter, grease a 12 hole muffin tin. Add the flour and butter into a large mixing bowl and rub to a crumb consistency. Add the sugar and the egg, and mix together.
Dust some flour onto your kitchen table and tip the mixture onto it, then fold until the pastry comes together. Wrap your pastry in clingfilm and put in the fridge for 10 mins.
Sprinkle flour onto your kitchen table and rolling pin and roll half the pastry out to approx the thickness of a pound coin. Use a pastry cutter to cut out 12 circles, then pop them into your muffin tin and back in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
Roll out the second half of the pastry to the same thickness. Using a smaller pastry cutter, cut out another 12 circles to be your pie lids.
Once the pies are cool, sprinkle with caster sugar, invite all your GFF's (Gin Friends Forever) over, stick on the Michael Buble Christmas album and get merry with your (boozy) mince pies!