UPDATED DECEMBER 2021
Mince Pies Ideas – Name 5 ways to jazz up a jar of shop bought mince meat that will guarantee to impress guests and have them believe your mince pies are all home made
I’m not suggesting you should struggle with mince pies ideas that recommend you make your own pastry and pre soak your fruit mince for months! BUT I ATE MY WORDS THIS YEAR as I now own a THERMOMIX!
I say cheat a bit and buy some ready rolled chilled pastry and easily spruce up that shop bought jar of mince meat with some deliciously simple ideas!
Eating Mince Pies on Christmas Day used to be Illegal
No not another local rule you didn’t know about! But it really was illegal to eat Mince Pies on Christmas Day in a certain Mr Cromwell’s time, but the county of Kent rebelled and caused the Plum Pudding Riots in 1658.
The Pastry for the best Mince Pies Ideas
Buy either puff pastry or short crust pastry but make life easy by buying the ready rolled variety straight from the fridge! Easily available in the chiller section of most supermarkets. Do ask if what you need isn’t out, there may be some in storage. Lay out your pastry on a work surface dusted with flour. You do need a rolling pin later to roll up the excess back flat to cut again.
Get a small Indian bowl for a cutter, those tiny, steel bowls are perfect for cutting cleanly and the size is ideal. Must be available at Lulu’s or Carrefour. I have a very old star shape from a packet of four that came from IKEA I think I bought it to make play dough shapes initially! These are ideal for cutting out star shape pastry pieces. The stars are the lids.
The Mince meat for the best Mince Pies Ideas
I looked for the Waitrose own mince meat in Spinneys, but was told they only had Robertsons! OK so be it. So here’s what you can do with your Robertson’s mince meat for some Christmas va va voom!
- Use a teaspoon of it as it is straight into your pastry shells that are in your baking tin, still smells gorgeous when cooking in the oven, dust with icing sugar when cold before you serve
- Take out all your mince in a large bowl and add 2 to 3 large tablespoons of BRANDY OR WHISKEY to the mix, then use as above
- Add the brandy and some of your favourite chopped dates and apricots or cranberries too!
- Add fresh LEMON LIME OR ORANGE zest to the mince meat with or without the brandy, Easy to make the zest in a thermomix!
- Chop up 100g of DARK CHOCOLATE and run through your mince meat and use the orange zest too. Perhaps try some cointreu orange liqueur with that or even some single malt! Chocolate, orange and whiskey are perfect together.
- Substitute rum for brandy in any of the steps above.
- Add some GROUND ALMONDS with freshly GRATED APPLE that you’ve sprinkled with cinnamon to your mix
Mince Pies Ideas the best accompaniments
The jury’s out on that one but you could try
- Madagascan vanilla ice cream
- Bateel’s yoghurt dibbs ice cream with dates in it (especially good if you have dates in the mince meat) and makes a really Dubai Style Mince Pie
- Try a side of kesar kulfi with your mince pie, the pistachios and saffron in the real thing would really complement a hot, sweet mince pie
- If you can’t get the real kulfi easily (available at Bikaner’s) then just use the Kulfi ice cream available in all Dubai supermarkets in a tub
IF YOU DO HAVE A THERMOMIX OR a GOOD FOOD PROCESSOR AND YOU HAVE TIME.. then you MAY want to have a go at making your own pastry! I did this year using a cookidoo recipe from thermomix but substituted the flour for spelt flour and substituted some of that with flax seed powder, pumkin seed powder and almond powder! Mix is a bit sticky to work with as I forgot all those seeds give off a little oil too, but very tasty, much HEALTHIER TOO!
Remember you can use the same pastry shells to do savoury filled mini quiches easily as well. Great for Christmas party snack ideas or pass arounds.