Thursday, 1 December 2016

Recipe: Mincemeat Shortcake Bars

For me, Christmas is not Christmas without mince pies and from mid November onwards I jump at any excuse to make a batch or two. I love nothing more than sitting in front of a turf fire nibbling on mince pies and drinking hot tea. Whilst I love traditional mince pies, I’m always on the lookout for new recipes using mincemeat that evoke all the flavours of Christmas but are a little different.

I often make these shortcake bars and they always seem to go down a treat with unexpected visitors during the festive period. Because of the use of self-raising flour, the pastry has a softer texture when baked than that used in conventional mince pies but it makes a nice change and people really seem to like them.
 
INGREDIENTS:
Pastry:
240g self-raising flour
15g icing sugar
125g cold butter, cubed
1 large egg, lightly beaten
30ml cold water
1 jar (approximately 400g or so) mincemeat
2tbsp brandy
To finish:
2tbsp caster sugar
 
METHOD:
1. Preheat the oven to Fan Oven to 180C/Fan Oven 160C/Gas Mark 4.
2. Line a 30cm x 20cm traybake tin with non-stick baking parchment and set aside.
3. Place the flour and icing sugar into a large mixing bowl and add the cubed butter. Rub the butter into the flour using the tips of your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Make a well in the centre and add the egg and water. Mix everything together using a fork until it comes together.
4. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead briefly and shape into a ball.
5. Divide the dough in half. Press one half of the dough into the bottom of the prepared tin flattening it out with your fingers or the back of a metal spoon to create a level surface.
6. Mix the mincemeat and brandy together in a small bowl and then spoon onto the pastry in the traybake tin, spreading it out evenly.
7. Roll the other half of the dough between two sheets of flour non-stick baking parchment paper into a rectangle the same size as the tin (i.e. 30cms x 20cms).
8. Remove the top sheet of parchment paper and lift the rolled out pastry on the other sheet of parchment, flip it over to cover the mincemeat filling. Tuck in the edges of the pastry making sure that the filling is covered.
9. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until light golden brown. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the caster sugar. Set aside to cool before cutting into 16 bars.
 
Makes 16 bars.