Today I bring you Cheat’s Mince Pies with a Secret Twist! I haven’t made mince pies for about 25 years, gasp! You see hubby has never really liked them or any of the other traditional British Christmas treats containing dried fruit and my daughter has followed in his foot steps and won’t even eat a scone with raisins in it. However my son and I love mince pies, Christmas cake etc so I decided to make some. I remembered back to 25 years ago when my hubby used to work in an agency and every Christmas the landlady of the office premises used to come round with her home-made mince pies. But the shocking thing was that hubby actually liked Mrs Belcher’s mince pies because they had a twist to them, the addition of cottage cheese!
So I seem to remember making my own version all those years ago but when there were just the 2 of us to eat them it wasn’t something I carried on making and on my side of the family it’s only my dad who likes mince pies! So on Saturday I decided to put together a really quick and easy but delicious mince pie recipe. My Cheat’s Mince Pies with a Secret Twist use shop bought shortcrust pastry sheets, shop bought mincemeat to which you add your own brandy and chopped almonds (you could also add a few chopped glace cherries) and the twist of the cottage cheese.
Well you’re not going to believe what happened next, I kind of thought my hubby would eat these mince pies as he’d had liked them all those years ago but the shocking thing was that my daughter asked to have one, liked it and had more over the weekend!! She said it was the best mince pie she’d ever had. I wasn’t that impressed with this statement as I couldn’t remember her ever having had one but she said she’d tried a few LOL! My son came home from work (Saturday job) and seeing the mince pies grabbed one before he’d even taken his coat off. He was a bit shocked that I’d made them, poor lad, I’ve deprived him all these years as he’s only every had shop bought ones! He loved my mince pies too.
I asked hubby what it is about these Cheats Mince Pies that he likes when he won’t usually eat one and he said that the cottage cheese takes away the intensity of the mincemeat flavour. It does add a lovely creamy element to the mince pie and now I know the whole family will eat them I’ll be baking these every year. I also like the extra crunch of the chopped almonds and the brandy flavour. Goodness know why it took me this long to remember Mrs Belcher’s trick but better late than never eh!
- generous ½ jar mincemeat
- 20g blanched almonds, chopped
- 1 - 3 tsp brandy
- 1 320g pack short crust pasty sheet (rested at room temperature for 15 minutes)
- 6 tsp cottage cheese
- milk for glazing
- icing sugar for dusting
- Preheat oven to 200º.
- Place the mincemeat, chopped almonds and brandy into a bowl and mix well.
- Grease a 12 hole patty tin.
- Unroll the pastry sheet and give it a quick roll with a rolling pin to stretch slightly.
- Use a 7.5 cm fluted pastry cutter to cut out 12 circles (you’ll need to gather up the pastry and re-roll with a dusting of flour) and fill the patty tin with the pastry circles.
- Fill each pastry circle with mincemeat and top with ½ tsp of cottage cheese.
- Roll out the rest of the pastry and using a 6 cm fluted cutter cut out 12 circles, brush edges with water and press onto the bases.
- Cut a hole with a table knife into the top of each pie to allow steam to escape (I would give it a slight twist too as the hole seems to seal up).
- Brush the tops with milk and bake in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes.
- Transfer mince pies to a cooling rack.
- Serve warm or cold dusted with icing sugar.
So don’t stress if you haven’t made your own mincemeat this year and don’t have time to make pastry, simply make my Cheat’s Mince Pies with a Secret Twist – no-one will ever know you didn’t spend hours preparing them from scratch! Do you have any quick Christmas baking or dessert making tips or tricks that you’d like to share with my readers? Do let me know in the comments below! I asked some fellow bloggers for their Christmas recipes that use “cheats” and here are a few:
Pear & Mincemeat Strudel – Tinned Tomatoes
Cherry Bakewell Mince Pies – Emily’s Recipes & Reviews
Christmas Trifle – How to Cook Good Food
Christmas Lemon Curd & Amaretto Trifle – Casa Costello
Quick & Easy Speculoos & Marscapone Pancake Cake – Kavey Eats
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