There’s nothing nicer than mince pies straight from the oven. Try this recipe from restaurant owner Mariana Esterhuizen’s new book Mariana’s Country Kitchen: Food Through the Seasons (Human & Rousseau), R350, which is filled with recipes using fresh seasonal ingredients from her garden
- 200g sultanas
- 125g raisins
- 175g mixed citrus peel
- 100g currants
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- finely grated zest of 2 oranges
- 3 large cored and coarsely
- grated Granny Smith apples
- 1t ground cinnamon
- ¼t ground cloves
- ½t ground nutmeg
- 170ml brandy
- 80g treacle sugar
- 150g butter, melted
- 600g shortcrust pastry
- Chop the sultanas and raisins to the size of the currants or, if you are in a hurry or are doubling the recipe, use the mincer attachment of a food processor to process them.
- Place the chopped dried fruit, mixed citrus peel and currants in a bowl that is large enough to hold all the ingredients. Add the lemon and orange zest and the grated apple. Sprinkle the spices over the fruit and stir.
- Add 100 ml of the brandy and the sugar, and stir.
- Add the melted butter, stir well and cover the mixture. Leave to stand overnight in a cool place and stir in the rest of the brandy the next day.
- Store in a non-metal container with a tight-fitting lid or in sterilised jars.
To make the pies:
- Preheat the oven to 180 °C.
- Roll out the shortcrust pastry thinly and cut out rounds with a cookie cutter.
- Line the greased cups of a tartlet pan with the pastry rounds.
- Place 1T of the mince pie mixture in each cup and decorate the top with pastry shapes.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 160 °C and bake for a further 10 minutes.
This recipe makes 60 small pies