Every year I bake around 200 mince pies which I then box up, with a rather grandiose ribbon, and gift them to my clients and all the people in my team that help me throughout the year. And so, you know, they've gotta be good! And they are.
Just for you, my beloved readers, I am sharing with you the recipe which is [heavily] based on the Claridges recipe for mince pies. I've made my own alterations and they are as follows:
Filling: It is just not necessary to make the mincemeat, I buy the mega-jars at Waitrose adding a healthy dose of brandy, allowing them to, you know, become acquainted...
Topping: If there is a shortage of chopped hazelnuts at your local shop, ground almonds is a reasonable replacement - but hazelnuts are best. Add ground cardamom to the topping (before & after baking) and be generous with that heady spice.
TIP: when storing them in air tight containers, I like to sprinkle a small handful of ground cardamom over the pies before sealing them, ready to be boxed up.
I have never tasted a better mince pie in my life.
Finally, and MOST importantly, the perfect soundtrack to a day spent baking are:
- Any of the Colorbudz podcasts. This podcast one on Colour Theorist Johannes Itten is a favourite of mine.
- And when baking fatigue kicks in - which it tends to do at around 4pm: Pavarotti at his best.
I hope you've had a lovely weekend and if you have a favourite recipe, too, I'd love to hear about it...