Fruit Mince Pies with Walnut Pastry
Deeply spiced vine fruits, apple and citrus combine to make the most intensely Christmassy filling for this incredible walnut pastry. Baking fruit mince pies in a steam oven will change the way you bake them forever.
Servings: 48 pies
Make the pastry
Put the walnuts into the bowl of a food processor and process until they are finely ground but not a paste. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and pulse to combine.
Add the butter and pulse again until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, then drop in the egg yolk and lemon zest. Run the machine until the dough just comes together in a mass – you may need to add a tablespoon or two of chilled water if it’s too dry. This will depend a bit on climate and on the oiliness of your walnuts. What you’re looking for is a dough which comes together easily but isn’t too soft – it shouldn’t be sticking to your fingers when you pinch a piece off to check it.
Turn the dough out onto a large piece of cling film, pat it into a disc about 1"/2.5cm thick, then wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
Make the pies
When you’re ready to make the pies, preheat your oven to 375⁰F/190⁰C, combination steam setting. If your oven has variable steam settings, use 30% here. If not, don't worry! Just set to combi steam at the correct temperature and the oven will figure out the humidity for you. If your pans aren’t non-stick, give them a light grease.
Using a little flour to dust the bench and rolling pin, roll the pastry out to approximately 1/8”/3mm thick. With a round cutter a little larger than the holes in your pan (mine is fluted but plain is fine), cut enough circles to fill your tins and gently lay them into the holes, pressing to the bottom. If any cracks appear in the pastry just press it back together gently, it should seal up fine while cooking.
Roll any offcuts back together on a piece of silicone paper and cut decorative stars or other shapes for the tops of the pies – I like to do this and then transfer the whole sheet of silicone paper to the fridge to firm up the cut pieces while I fill the pies. It makes them much easier to transfer without ruining the shapes.
Put about a teaspoon of fruit mince into each pastry case, then top with your cut shapes. Bake the pies until the pastry is golden and the mince bubbling, about 11 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes before carefully removing the pies and dusting with icing sugar to serve.
- You can easily halve, or double, this recipe.
- The pies will keep in a container at room temperature for 2-3 days before the pastry starts to soften a bit. They’ll keep in the freezer, in an airtight container, for about 6 weeks, and just need half an hour or an hour on the bench to defrost before serving.
- As far as the pastry goes, I do not want you to fear it. It comes together easily in a food processor and if you find it’s a bit soft to handle when you’re cutting it out, just return it to the fridge for 10-15 minutes then try again. I’ve been known to do that two or three times over the course of a couple of hours, in between kids asking for snacks/toys/stories/more snacks, then dropping the snacks all over the floor necessitating clean-up before they get trekked through the house. As for the rolling and cutting, you should easily be able to knead the scraps together and roll out again at least a couple of times so long as you don’t use a horrendous amount of flour to roll it out on the first go (because of the high fat content, the dough will absorb a lot of flour – the more it takes in, the tougher it will get when you re-roll it).
- A dark coloured baking tray/tin makes a huge difference to the browning on the bases of pastries in the steam oven. The silver coloured/stainless steel trays frequently cause me problems with soggy pastry, especially when my fillings are quite moist or the item larger than canape size. The tins I use for my fruit mince pies are what I refer to as patty pan tins but I see Amazon calls them mince pie pans (link here). I have 4 so I don’t have to wait to turn things out when I’m baking a large batch of something, and I find them useful for all manner of little tarts and pies. The tins are inexpensive and the non-stick coating means if I’m filling them with buttery pastry I don’t have to bother greasing each little hole, so that’s a win.
Calories: 165kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 92mg | Potassium: 39mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 154IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg