Quince Pies | sheerluxe.com

Quince Pies

Prep Time: 50 Minutes | Baking Time: 15 Minutes

Makes 24 quince pies with leftover baked quince mincemeat

Christmas would not be the same without mince pies, bursting with rich dried fruits, spices and citrus notes. Replace the usual grated apple with quince for a delicious result, as the fruit gives the mix a sweet, tart twist. Freshly chopped ginger lifts the flavours up.

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 600 g (1lb 5 oz) of quince (2–3 quince)
  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil, melted
  • 1 x recipe basic pastry (see below), rolled out to about 3 mm (⅛ inch) thick
  • 50 g (1¾ oz/⅓ cup) of unsulphured dried apricots
  • 100 g (3½ oz/⅔ cup) of dates
  • 100 g (3½ oz/scant ⅔ cup) of raisins
  • 100 g (3½ oz/⅔ cup) of currants
  • 100 g (3½ oz/⅔ cup) of sultanas (seedless golden raisins)
  • 25 g (¾ oz/3 tbsp) of almonds, preferably soaked for 8–12 hours, roughly chopped
  • 15 g (½ oz/2½ tbsp) of peeled ginger, finely chopped
  • ¼ of a whole nutmeg, grated
  • ½ tsp of mixed spice
  • ¼ tsp of ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp of ground cinnamon
  • Finely grated zest and juice of ½ large orange
  • Finely grated zest and juice of ½ large lemon
  • 50 g (1¾ oz/scant ¼ cup) of apple purée
  • ¼ tsp of coarse sea salt
  • 1 tbsp of raw honey or maple syrup
  • 50 g (1¾ oz/¼ cup) of coconut butter

METHOD:  

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/310°F/Gas Mark 2½, you will need two tartlet tins. Peel, core and cut the quince into eighths; you should have about 400 g (14 oz) of quince flesh. Place on a baking tray, drizzle with the melted coconut oil and bake for 30–40 minutes, or until tender. Turn up the oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3.
  2. Cut out 24 rounds of pastry with a cookie cutter, large enough to fit your tartlet holes, and press the pastry in gently. Cut out 24 tops (either make traditional plain round tops or cut out shapes like stars, hearts or holly) and place on a tray lined with baking parchment. Chill the tart cases and tops in the fridge until needed.
  3. In a food processor, blitz the apricots and dates into small pieces. Add half the raisins, currants and sultanas (seedless golden raisins) and blitz again. You want the mix to all come together and be in small pieces, almost like mince, but not a paste. When the quince has cooled, add it to the dried fruits and blitz again until almost pulp but with some texture.
  4. Remove from the food processor, tip into a large bowl and add the rest of the raisins, currants and sultanas (seedless golden raisins), the chopped almonds, ginger, spices, orange and lemon zest and juice, apple purée, salt and honey or maple syrup. Grate in the coconut butter, or finely chop it. Mix everything together with your hands, squeezing the mix through your fingers to make sure it is all really well combined and there are no large lumps of coconut butter.
  5. Fill the lined tartlets with a generous amount of the quince mincemeat and then top with your prepared pastry discs or shapes. If you are using discs, slice a small cross in the middle of each pie disc using a sharp knife. Bake for 10–12 minutes, rotating the tray halfway, until the tops are golden-brown. Serve straight from the oven or leave to cool and then warm up when needed.
  6. These quince pies last for at least five days in an airtight container. The mincemeat will keep for up to ten days in a sealed glass jar in the fridge or you can freeze it.

 

Basic Pastry Recipe

Makes 550 g (1 lb 3 oz) pastry, enough to line two 23 cm (9 inch) round tart tins
 

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 150 g (5¼ oz/1 cup) of buckwheat flour
  • 150 g (5¼ oz/1¼ cups) of ground almonds (almond meal)
  • 60 g (2 oz/½ cup) of coconut sugar
  • 20 g (¾ oz/2½ tbsp) of arrowroot
  • ½ tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 100 g (3½ oz/½ cup) of coconut oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 70 ml (2½ fl oz/¼ cup plus 2 tsp) of cool water

METHOD:

Use a freestanding mixer with a paddle attachment to make this pastry, or a mixing bowl with a wooden spoon or spatula if preferred.

  1. Grease your tins with coconut oil. Combine all the dry ingredients, including the lemon zest. A whisk is good for this as it gets rid of any lumps.
  2. Melt the coconut oil and gradually pour it into the dry ingredients, followed by the water, mixing until everything is well combined. At this point the dough can be wrapped in baking parchment and then cling film (plastic wrap) and frozen for up to one month or kept in the fridge for about five days.

Recipe and images courtest of Clean Cakes by Henrietta Inman, photography by Lisa Linder (Jacqui Small, £20)