If there’s something about celebrating Christmas in Britain that I find puzzling is everyone’s obsession with mince pies. I mean, let’s face it, everyone buys theirs ready made in supermarkets, so there should be no egos involved. Poor pies, they are also guaranteed to be ignored on most holiday buffet spreads and I’ve never met a kid – or sane adult – that’ll get very excited about them.
Nut butter pies, on the other hand? That gets me hot just writing about them. They are a kiddie magnet – hello, nuts, sugar and pastry, what’s not to love – and they make a fabulous gift. If you can part with them.
I baked the pies in a mini mince pie tin – the pastry and butter filling quantities below allow for up to 48 mini pies. You can either use a regular sized tin or half the pastry and butter quantities. I also combined 3 nut varieties for the filling – you can create your own combinations, as long as you have 200g of nuts altogether. I’d stay away from almonds though, or if you’re keen on them, try mixing with some other nuts to allow more flavours to shine through. Your call though!
Without further ado, here’s a second post on edible gifts for Christmas. Let’s just keep the fact that you can gift these to yourself between us.
To make the shortcrust pastry, you’ll need:
375g plain white flour
125g granulated sugar
1 large egg + 1 egg for egg wash
250g butter, cubed and slightly softened
In a large bowl, work the butter into the flour until mix resembled breadcrumbs.
Add the sugar and combine.
Break egg into the flour mix and continue to work dough until it comes together.
Turn onto work surface, wrap in cling film and place in fridge for min. 10 minutes.
For the nut butter filling, you’ll need:
90g Brazil nuts
50g pistachios, toasted
60g hazelnuts, roasted
100g butter, cold, cubed
125g granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
Pulse the nuts together in a food processor for approx. 2 mins, until nuts have turned into fine powder.
Add the sugar and pinch of salt, then, with food processor running, add butter, one cube at a time, waiting until each is incorporated before adding the next.
Once all butter has been mixed in, break in egg and allow a few seconds for it to mix well.
To bake the pies, preheat oven at 220C.
Grease tin well. I used a mini mince pie tin, but good alternatives are muffin or Yorkshire pudding tins.
Roll pastry on a lightly floured surface, to a 3in thickness.
Using a round cookie / pastry cutter / improvisation(I used espresso cups…), cut rounds of pastry to fit your tin.
Place pastry rounds in tin, gently moulding the pastry to the shape of the tin.
Spoon filling on top of each pastry round, careful not to overfill.
Gather remaining pastry, knead lightly and roll again.
Cut toppers for the pies – I used a star shaped cutter.
Place toppers over filling.
Brush with egg wash.
Bake for 12 – 14 mins, until pastry is golden. You may need to cover tin with foil half way through bake to avoid the nut butter browning excessively.