The creation of these came about entirely from the purchase of the snowflake pie mould from Lakeland. Initially, I thought about making regular mince pies with it, then I thought it might be nice to make something equally Christmassy but slightly lighter. I came up with apple and cranberry and the combination, with some Christmas spice, works very well, and would make a great alternative to those who don’t like traditional mincemeat.
Ingredients for the filling:
1 Large Bramley Apple (about 250g once peeled, cored and chopped)
50g of Dried Cranberries (soaked overnight in 20g of Vanilla Vodka or orange juice)
100g of Light Brown Sugar
15g of Butter
1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
1/2 Teaspoon of Mixed Spice
1 Stick of Cinnamon
1 Heaped Teaspoon of Plain Flour
Zest of an Orange
- Soak the dried cranberries overnight in the vodka or orange juice to allow them to plump up.
- Chop the apple into small pieces and combine all the ingredients, except the plain flour, in a large pan and heat on medium.
- Cook the apple mixture, stirring every couple of minutes on a medium heat, allowing it to bubble away and break down a little, for about ten minutes.
- Once you feel that the apples have started to soften, add the plain flour, stir it in quickly whilst on the heat for a minute or two, then remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- It is now ready to use once cool.
You can use bought pastry or make your own. You will need about 400/450g of pastry to make 12 snowflake pies. You could easily make these in a regular mince pie shape if you don’t have the snowflake mould.
This is a recipe that I got from a magazine, written by the owner of Betty’s tearooms in Yorkshire.
250g of Plain Flour
60g of Chilled Butter
125g of Caster Sugar
1 Large Egg, beaten plus another beaten egg for sealing the pies
- Rub the butter into the flour and sugar until it resemble breadcrumbs.
- Add the beaten egg and bring together. If it is a little dry, add a teaspoon of cold water.
- Form into a flat round, wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least half an hour.
Now comes the fun bit: making the pies. I won’t lie; they are quite time consuming, so make them when you have time and patience. But they are so pretty and deeply satisfying to make, and, therefore, are well worth the effort.
Roll out your pastry to the thickness of a £1 as you would with regular mince pies. Then cut out 12 whole snowflake shapes, followed by 12 patterned snowflakes. (I think I would like to try making them without the holes in the future). You will need to scrape together the dough and roll it out a couple of times, but handle it gently and you should be fine.
To make each pie, you need to place a whole snowflake shape back into the pie mould, lining up the edges, then gently pressing down in the middle to stretch the pastry to fill the mould. Obviously, be gentle and take your time, so as not to rip the pastry.
Lightly brush the edges of the snowflake shape with the extra beaten egg then add a heaped teaspoon of cool filling in to the centre of the pastry. Line up a patterned snowflake and press down gently.
Finally fold the other side of the mould over and press down to seal and created the impression along the edge of the pie. They should pop right out onto your hand. Place them on a baking sheet or a shallow mince pie tin.
Once you have made 12, cover loosely with clingfilm and chill for half an hour whilst the oven heats up to 180C (160C fan over).
Then bake them for 20-25 minutes until golden and crisp.
You can leave them as they are, but I dusted them with icing sugar. They are delicious served warm (not straight out of the oven) with cream. I hope you enjoy their fruity spice as much as we did.