Mince pies are enjoyed by many over the festive periods in regular or miniature size, but when thinking about Christmas recipes to develop, I realised I’d never seen a giant pie and this had to change. What could be more perfect as a Christmas dessert than a crumbly pastry crust, filled to the brim with heavily spiced, sticky dried fruit? I’ve swapped the traditional pastry topping for a buttery crumble, and combined the rich mincemeat filling with some grated apple for a touch of freshness. This dessert makes a great alternative to the classic Christmas pudding, and you can make the whole thing in advance and freeze it, so it is ready to be baked from frozen on the day. Serve in large slices, doused in homemade brandy custard, for a dessert to remember.
This recipe was originally written for Waitrose and published in the Waitrose Weekend paper.
Martha Collison's crumble topped mince pie
Preparation time: 25-30 minutes + chilling
Cooking time: 50 minutes to 55 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 15-25 minutes
Serves: 6 - 8
FOR THE PASTRY
200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
20g ground almonds
½ tsp ground cinnamon
35g icing sugar
125g cold butter, diced
1 Waitrose British Blacktail Large Free Range Egg yolk
FOR THE FILLING
410g jar mincemeat
1 Bramley apple, peeled, cored and grated
FOR THE CRUMBLE
75g plain flour
75g butter, cubed
50g caster sugar
1 beaten egg yolk, for glazing
1. Place the flour, almonds, cinnamon and icing sugar into a large bowl and mix until well combined. Add the butter and rub into the flour until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and 1-2 tbsp of cold water and mix with a round ended knife. When the mixture starts to clump, tip the bowl out onto a large piece of clingfilm and knead briefly until the pastry makes a ball. Wrap in clingfilm and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface, to around 0.5cm thick or large enough to cover the base and sides of a 24cm fluted, loose bottomed tart tin. Press the pastry right into the tin edges, then roll the pin over the top to cut away any excess. Prick the base with a fork, then chill for 15 minutes.
3. Line the pastry with parchment and fill with baking beans and bake for 15 minutes. Take out the beans and bake for 8-10 minutes, then remove from the oven. Reduce the heat to 180°C, gas mark 4.
4. Mix the apple and mincemeat in a bowl and spread into the case. Mix the crumble ingredients and rub in the butter until it all clumps then sprinkle over the mincemeat. Use leftover pastry to decorate.
5. Brush the pastry on top with beaten egg and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and the filling is bubbling. Serve hot or cold with lots of my vanilla brandy custard!
Cook’s tip: You can freeze the pie uncooked for 3 months, at the end of step 4. Bake from frozen, covered with foil, for 30 minutes then remove the foil and bake for 15-20 minutes.