Fruity Beetroot Mince Pies
Traditional mince pies with a vibrant and earthy twist and made with a delicious crumbly cream cheese shortcrust pastry.
- 2 bramley apples
- 2 large beetroots
- 500g dried fruit (any combination of sultanas, currants, chopped dried figs or dates)
- 250g vegetable suet
- 450g soft brown sugar
- Zest of 2 oranges
- 50g candied peel
- 50g finely chopped nuts (I used pecans and hazelnuts)
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 120ml V8 Beetroot & Raspberry Juice
- 25g brandy (optional)
- 200g plain flour
- 100g butter
- 75g caster sugar
- 50g ground almonds
- 75g cream cheese
- 1 egg yolk
To make the mincemeat
- Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas Mark 6 (conventional oven).
- Remove the core from the bramley apples, then place both on a piece of foil and wrap up. Place on a baking tray.
- Remove the stalks from the beetroots, place on another piece of foil, wrap up, and place on the same baking tray as the apples.
- Place the tray in the oven, then after 30 minutes check the apples (as they cook faster than the beetroot). If the flesh is soft throughout, remove and leave aside to cool.
- Return the beetroots to the oven for a further 30 minutes or until a knife passes through easily. Remove and leave to cool.
- When the apples and beetroots are completely cool, peel and discard the skins. Next, mash or finely chop the flesh together in a large bowl.
- Add all the rest of the mincemeat ingredients, stir together until fully combined, then cover and leave for 24 hours.
- The following day, pour the mincemeat into 4 sterilised jars.
To make the mince pies
- Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas Mark 6.
- Rub the butter into the flour in a large mixing bowl, until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and ground almonds and stir.
- Add the cream cheese and egg yolk, and mix thoroughly until fully combined. If your dough is still a little dry, add a few teaspoons of milk at a time and knead until it has reached the desired consistency.
- On a floured surface, roll out the pastry to around 4mm thick, and cut 10 large using a 10cm cutter, and 10 smaller circles with a 7cm cutter.
- Collect the off-cuts and re-roll and keep cutting until you have used up all the pastry.
- Grease a muffin tin, and use a large pastry circle to line each hole. Fill each case up to two-thirds full with mincemeat. Brush the edges of each small pastry circle with water, and use them to cover the pies, pressing down the edges to seal the pastry together.
- Push a fork around the edges for a crimped effect. Pierce a small hole in the top of each pie with a sharp knife, then brush the pastry tops with milk.
- Bake the pies for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven, and leave to cool in the tin, then remove and sprinkle with icing or caster sugar.