Fruit Mince Pies with a Chai tea’wist’

According to a Middle Age’s custom – if you eat a mince pie every day from Christmas day for 12 days you will have happiness for the whole year – we say eat up!  We love the below recipe inspired by Maggie Beer – just with a chai tea’wist’…

Ingredients

300g fruit mince
60g flaked almond
3 granny smith apples
3 tbsp. of Verjuice
200g seedless raisins
200g Dried Apricots
100g dried figs
200g sultanas
250g currents
150g dried cumquat slices
100g mixed peel
200g brown sugar
2 tsp. honey
2 tsp. mixed spice
½ cup of brewed Chai tea (use two bags if you like it strong – brew to packet instructions)
1 tsp. nutmeg Freshly Grated
150ml brandy
175g unsalted butter

Pastry

175g unsalted butter Chilled
225g unbleached plain flour
75g self-raising flour
55g icing sugar
1 free range eggs
2 tbsp. iced water

Directions

Roast the almonds on a baking tray for about 5 minutes, shaking the tray to prevent the nuts from burning. Allow to cool, then chop, chop, chop.
Peel and coarsely grate the apples, then cover with verjuice to prevent discoloration. Chop the raisins, apricots and figs. Combine these in a glass or ceramic bowl with the apple and remaining ingredients, except the butter, and mix thoroughly – pour in brewed chai tea and combine. Cover with plastic film and leave at room temperature for 24 hours, stirring occasionally.
Melt the butter and stir it through the fruit mince before filling tarts.
To make the pastry, dice the chilled butter. Blend the flours, icing sugar and diced butter in a food processor until well combined and the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Add the egg yolk and iced water and, using the pulse button, process until the mixture starts to come together. Shape the pastry into a disc, then wrap it in plastic film and refrigerate for 1 hour. (Note: 500g of pastry makes 24 pies)
Preheat the oven to 200C. Cut rounds of pastry to line the moulds you are using, then cut a corresponding number of lids. Line the moulds with pastry, then add a spoonful of fruit mince and top with a lid, pressing down on the edges to seal the tarts. Make 3 small cuts in the top of each tart with the point of a knife.
Bake for 12 minutes, then allow to cool in the trays. (If you are using larger moulds, you will need to bake the tarts for a longer time – the pastry should be golden brown.)
We love ours with fresh cream!