Viennese Whirl Mince Pies

I have to admit I’m not a huge fan of mince pies, or anything with lots of dried fruit in it come to that! So I’m always looking for ways to jazz them up and these hit the mark for me, delicious crisp sweet crust pastry, a bit of extra something in the mincemeat and topped with a light crumbly viennese whirl! Almost palatably – not really my family and friends tell me they are delicious!

They take a little time as the key to any pastry and biscuit work is to rest and chill to get the best results, but the methods are quick and easy. The recipe is in three parts so check right through before you start.

Makes 12

Viennese whirl mince pies with a orange liqueur filling.

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Pastry

This makes double the amount you need but it freezes well so it won’t go to waste, its a very very easy all in the food processor recipe and is so forgiving when rolling and lining the tins you will want to use it for lots of other sweet recipes.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium egg
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g plain flour
  • 125g unsalted butter cubed

Method

Put everything together in a food processor

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Whizz for a minute or so until it starts to form a ball of dough.

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Pop into a plastic bag and put in the fridge to chill for half an hour, don’t be tempted to skip this stage it really makes a big difference when you roll out the pastry later.

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After half an hour, roll out the pastry to about 3mm thick (I have a fancy rolling pin that helps me with that but about the the thickness just less than a pound coin is good.) Don’t try to roll all the pastry at once just do small batches at a time it makes it much easier, and use plenty of flour to stop it sticking to the work top.

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Using a 7cm circular pastry cutter cut out rounds and line a greased muffin tin (the deep ones not the jam tart ones)

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Ease the pastry gently into the tin making sure there are no air bubble and it is even round the edges.

Mincemeat filling

I don’t make my own! I use a standard supermarket own jar, a 400g jar will be plenty, and add some Grand Marnier ( about 1 or 2 dessert spoons) and extra orange zest to taste. But you can experiment with whatever you have in the back of your cupboard!

Add about 1 dessert spoon of filling to each pastry case, don’t be tempted to overfill or they will explode during cooking. Then pop these in the fridge until the topping is ready.

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Viennese Whirl topping

Ingredients

  • 150g Stork with Butter
  • 30g icing sugar
  • 150g plain flour
  • 30g cornflour
  • 1/2tsp vanilla extract

Method

I specify Stork with Butter for this recipe as I find it the perfect combination of buttery flavour and the consistency you need to pipe the whirls, which then hold their shape well, but if you are a purist you can use butter just make sure it is very very soft to cream with the icing sugar.

Cream the icing sugar and Stork with Butter together until very light and fluffy. Keep going until you think it looks pale enough then beat just a little while longer to be sure!

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Stir in the flours and vanilla extract, and combine briefly until a smooth consistency is reached, don’t over beat at this point.

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Prepare a piping bag with a closed star nozzle ( I used a wilton 2D) and pop into a tall cup to transfer the mixture into.

Put this mixture into the fridge for 15/20 minutes, no longer or it will be too solid to pipe.

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When the chilling time is up take everything out of the fridge. To pipe the rosettes start in the middle and spiral out to the edges.

Ok back in the fridge time! Give the tray at least another 20mins to chill.

Preheat the oven to 180C fan.

Bake for 25-30 mins turning the tray round after 20mins to ensure an even bake (everyones oven has that annoying hotspot right?).

Leave to cool in the tin for 10 mins before carefully lifting out to get completely cold on a cooling tray.

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Dust with icing sugar to finish off!

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