Liam Charles’ recipe for deep-fried mince pies
There is a certain fast-food purveyor of legendary apple pies. Why are they so good? They’re fried, with a super-crisp pastry and a piping hot filling. Here’s my take on them and, hey, since it’s Christmas, I thought I’d introduce some festive flavours. My friends, I bring you deep-fried mince pies.
Deep-fried mince pies
You will need a deep-fat fryer or a deep pan and a cooking thermometer.
Prep 30 min
Chill 30 min
Cook 5-6 min a pie
600g plain flour, plus extra for rolling
1 tsp fine salt
1 tsp ground mixed spice
Zest of 1 large orange
375g butter, frozen (pop it in the freezer for two hours or so)
2 litres sunflower oil, for deep-frying 600g mincemeat (homemade or shop-bought)
1 egg, beaten, for brushing
For the brandy glaze
250g icing sugar, sieved
75ml double cream
1 tbsp brandy
Start with the pastry: put the flour in a large bowl and stir in the salt, mixed spice and orange zest. Grate half of the butter into the flour and give it a quick toss. Repeat with the rest of the butter and mix through the flour mixture with a table or palette knife – you want to make sure all the butter is well coated in the flour.
Slowly pour 190-200ml cold water into the mixture, constantly stirring, until it comes together into a light dough. Divide the dough into two squares, wrap in clingfilm and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Heat the oil in a deep fryer or a large saucepan – you need it to come up to 180C/350F. Roll out the pastry to about 3mm. Using the base of a 15cm springform cake tin, or anything flat and round of that size, cut out as many pastry circles as you can; gently knead together offcuts to make more circles.
Now spoon a couple of heaped tablespoons of the mincemeat on to one half of each pastry circle. Brush around the edges lightly with the beaten egg. Fold the pastry over the filling to make a crescent shape and press together the edges with a fork.
Fry the pies a few at a time for two to three minutes on each side, until golden brown. Carefully remove the pies with a slotted spoon, to drain off the excess oil, then pop them on to paper towels to absorb any remaining oil.
Put all the fried pies on a wire rack with a baking tray underneath. Mix all the ingredients for the glaze in a bowl.
While the pies are still warm, coat them with the glaze, one side at a time, using a pastry brush. If you fancy a little extra sweetness, go for two coatings.
Wait for the icing to harden and … Merry Christmas!
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010