After living in London for less than a year, my only taste of Mincemeat Pies was right before I was leaving and my friend Kanika brought some over from Mark and Spencer. Nothing fancy but oh my were they delicious and nothing like I expected. I thought Mincemeat Pie contained meat, hence the name. Actually these little British goodies are filled with fruits and spices like cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon. The crust is flaky and tasty with hints of butter. The filling is the perfect combination of fruit and spice.
Since book club is tonight and I always take a dish with me (it’s a Lebanese cultural thing. Never go to someone’s house empty handed) I decided to try my “hand” with a play on British Mincemeat Pies.
I recently shared with you my post on Spiced Apple Syrup. The strong flavor of cinnamon, cloves and anise in the syrup works really well with all sorts of desserts and breakfast dishes. I substituted sugar and spices with the Spiced Apple Syrup in hopes of it creating a new twist on a classic treat.
You’ll notice I use a lot of candied ginger in my pastries. They still have a distinct ginger taste but without the bite of raw ginger and an added bit of sweetness. You can find them at Carrefour in the bulk dry good section. They come packaged in little plastic bags and are less than 20¥ ($3.50).
I made these with puff pastry, a store bought pie dough and a homemade pie dough. In the end my favorite was the flakiness of the puff pastry. Least favorite? Carrefour pie dough. Either make your own flaky dough or go for puff pastry.
Spiced Apple Hand Pies
- 2 Apples, cored and finely chopped
- 1 Cup a mix of Raisins, Cranberries, Apricots, finely chopped
- 2 Candied Ginger, chopped
- 2t (10ml) Lemon Juice
- 3 t Lemon Peel, finely grated
- 2T Flour
- 1/2 cup Spiced Apple Syrup
- 1t (5g) Nutmeg
- 2 Pie Dough or 2 Puff Pastry Dough, raw
- 1 Egg White
- 1 Tablespoon (15ml) Water
- 4 T (60g) Sugar
- 6 to 24 hours before you make your pies, prepare the filling. Combine apples, dried fruits, lemon juice and zest, candied ginger, flour, nutmeg and Spiced Apple Syrup. Stir until thoroughly combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Stir occasionally to macerate the flavors. Before using in the filling, drain the mixture in a sieve to remove excess liquid.
- Preheat oven to 425F (210C).
- Carefully roll out dough 1/8 inch (5mm) thick.
- Use a 3-inch (8.5cm) circular cookie cutter or cup and cut out as many circles as you can.
- Place 6 circles on a parchment lined baking sheet. Spoon in 1 tablespoon of apple filling in the center of each circle. Top with another pie circle and crimp edges together with a fork. Repeat with all of the circles.
- Whisk together egg white and water. Brush over each pie. Sprinkle pies with sugar.
- Poke top with toothpick to vent.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.