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English Christmas Mince Pies
Makes 5 450g jars.

225 g currants
225 g raisins
225 g sultanas
115 g glace cherries
115 g cut mixed peel
225 g sour apples, peeled and cored
115 g chopped walnuts
225 g shredded suet
450 g Demarara sugar
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Brandy or Cognac to mix

Finely chop the dried fruit and peel - you can use a food processor,
but be careful not to puree the mixture. Coarsely grate the apples
and mix with the fruit. Add the nuts. Stir in the sugar and spices
and enough brandy to give a moist texture.

Stir the grated suet into the fruit mixture, cover well and leave
to stand for 2 days. Stir well again and put into very clean screw
top jars. Leave it to mature for at least 2 weeks before using.

Mince pies: You need a patty or muffin tin and 2 round pastry cutters
7 cm and 5 cm. Make a shortcrust pastry. Roll out the pastry to
3 mm thickness and cut out an equal number of large and small
circles. Use the large circles to line the tin and put a teaspoon
of mincemeat into each shell. Cover with a small circle, and brush
with beaten egg if you want. Bake in a hot oven for about 15 - 20
mins until light golden. Serve warm with whipped cream or Brandy
Butter.

For Brandy, (or rum), Butter, cream 125g room temperature butter
with powdered sugar and brandy (or rum), and then chill in the
refrigerator. The degree of sweetness and alcohol content is more
or less up to you ! Put a generous teaspoon on top of a hot mince
pie.

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