Christmas in South Africa captures the essence of sun-soaked afternoons, a vibrant blend of cultures, traditions, and, of course, tempting Christmas treats. While the world has its classics, we South Africans love adding our unique flair to the festive table.
And as the festive season approaches, the nostalgic aroma of mince pies often fills South African homes - a scent that's especially close to our hearts at Tinsel Toes. But have you ever wondered how to make mince pies that capture both tradition and a hint of local magic?
Handed down through generations, and perfected at each stage, our family mince pie recipe is a testament to love, celebration, and the unique charm of a South African Christmas. It's not just about creating an easy mince pie; it's about recreating memories, bite by bite.
Mince Pie Recipe Ingredients:
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold water
750g dried fruits (raisins, cranberries, prunes etc.)
1 kg apples
250 grams nuts (pecan nuts or walnuts work well)
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/3 teaspoon of salt
500g butter, melted
Sift flour and salt together.
Place in a food processor and slowly add the butter in small pieces, processing for 5 to 10 seconds each time
Sprinkle cold water over the mix and process until the pastry forms a ball around the blade.
Wrap dough in cling film and chill for 30 minutes before rolling out.
Mince fruit, nuts, sugar and salt together (for a smoother mince use a food processor - the Tinsel Toes elves usually just roughly chop the fruit and nuts, and grate the apples).
Stir in the spices and butter.
Add 1 cup of brandy.
Fill sterilised jars with fruit mince and store for at least 7 days. Each day add a teaspoon of brandy to the jars and stir well.
Fruit mince will keep in the fridge for ages if sealed well.
Assemble the mince pies!
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
Roll out pastry and cut into circles that will fit a muffin pan - the size depends on how big you like your mince pies!
Press pastry into the muffin tin and spoon the desired amount of fruit mince.
Cut out pastry lids for your mince pies - these can be circles or stars or whatever you desire.
Use a little bit of water to seal the lids of the mince pies and prick with a fork.
Egg wash and bake until golden brown
Sprinkle immediately with icing sugar or castor sugar and enjoy with some chilled Gluhwein!
Remember, every bite is not just a taste of Christmas; it's a taste of a South African Christmas. Whether you're far from home or celebrating right here in our beautiful country, these mince pies are sure to transport you to the heart of our festive traditions.