Today’s recipe is all about going big or going home…why make lots of little mince pies when you can just make one big one!
I also have a confession to make…
mince pies! Actually – mainly just the filling! Anybody with me?
You know who you are…
You secretly think that the pie crust is just there to keep everything in one neat beautiful package – and so we don’t look like total food losers because all we really want is a bowl of the filling with maybe a little crunch for texture…
If this sounds like you (and me), then read on…
There is lovely soft shortcake base, topped with a rich spiced mixture of gourmet dried fruit and nuts, then sprinkled with a streusel topping for that little bit of crumble factor. Top it off with a spoonful of spiced rum butter (or not for the kids!) and watch it melt slowly into your soon-to-be perfect mouthful of mince pie/minus the pesky pie part!
This is the product I used for the mixed dried fruit – Sunbeam Gourmet Selection Mixed Fruit (and this is NOT a paid post/announcement). I saw it in the supermarket the other day when I was shopping for dried fruit for my annual (well mostly annual!) Christmas pudding. It caught my eye because it had an interesting mix of more exotic types of dried fruit that we can’t normally get all in one bag here is Australia, as you can see from the packaging. Don’t know if it is a new product, but I haven’t noticed it before if it isn’t.
You could of course use your own blend of dried fruit, which ever ones take your fancy.
Also, my reasons for leaving alcohol out of the fruit mince mixture is because 1.not everyone wants booze in their dessert, 2.it’s kid friendly, and 3. I really REALLY like the idea of the spiced rum butter oozing through all the nooks and crannies of my little piece of mince (-)pie heaven. Yum.
If you - like me - like mince pie filling more than the actual pie crust itself - then this one if for you! Sitting on a moist tender shortcake base, a rich moist layer of spiced fruits, finished off with a streusel topping which makes double duty use of the base dough for that little bit of crunch.
- Fruit Mixture
- 500g dried fruit - I used a mixture of dates/cranberries/currants/sultanas/figs
- 1 large green apple - finely chopped
- 25g slivered almonds - roughly chopped
- 75g butter - cubed
- 100g light brown sugar
- ½ tsp mixed spice
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ ground cloves
- 1 lemon zested + ½ juice
- Shortcake Base
- 100g butter - softened
- 100g white sugar
- 200g plain/all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Streusel Topping
- 1½ tsp demerara sugar
- 70g almond meal
- Spiced Rum Butter
- 150g unsalted butter - softened
- 70g icing sugar
- 70g light brown sugar
- ¼ tsp mixed spice
- pinch ground cloves
- 3 tbsp. dark rum
- Pre heat oven to 180c
- Grease and line a 20cm square high-sided baking tin.
- Roughly chop dried fruit to eliminate any large pieces.
- Add all fruit mixture ingredients to a medium saucepan, and cook over low heat until butter and sugar melts, and fruit becomes moist and tender - about 10-12 mins.
- Let mixture cool while you make the shortcake base.
- Cream together butter and sugar.
- Sift in flour and baking powder, mix to combine.
- Once combined, reserve 3 tbsp. of dough for streusel topping.
- Press shortcake dough into baking tin, getting it even and all the way to the corners.
- Place dried fruit mixture evenly on top of shortcake base, getting all the way to the edges.
- For the streusel base, combine the demerara sugar and almond meal with reserved shortcake dough. Mix to combine - I use my hands for this.
- Scatter streusel mixture evenly over the fruit mixture.
- Bake for 25 mins.
- Let sit for 15 mins to cool slightly and firm up before serving topped with Spiced Rum Butter and ice cream.
- For the Spiced Rum Butter
- Place sugars into a food processor. (see note)
- Process to remove any lumps.
- Add butter and spices and continue to process until smooth, then add rum and combine.
I cut my tray of "pies" into 9 - but keep in mind they are very rich (and your problem is??) so you may be able to get away with smaller size portions - maybe 12.