Branstons Christmas Savoury Mince Pies

Prep Time:
1 hour
Cooking Time:
1 hour
Serves:
Makes 12

I’ve been working with Branston this season to create the ultimate savoury mince pie. I tried lots of different combinations and ingredients initially but eventually settled on a classic with cheddar, roast potato, Branston pickle, savoury pastry and a sprig of thyme. The recipe is below so you can give them a try for yourself – or you can buy them hot from my stall on Old Spitalfields Market, or Sundays in my Columbia Road bakery up to Christmas. They went down a storm on ITV This Morning recently & both Metro and Timeout gave them the thumbs up. Hope you like them too!

Ingredients

For the pies:

120g Maris Piper Potatoes

(olive oil & sea salt to roast potatoes in)

100g Cheddar (chopped into tiny chunks)

360g Branstons

Egg wash: 2 egg yolks lightly beaten with 50ml double cream or milk

+ Fresh Thyme & Cracked Black Pepper to garnish

For the pastry:

337g plain flour

Pinch of salt

30g icing sugar, sifted (optional)

170g unsalted butter, cubed or grated and refrigerated

5-6 tbsp ice cold water

one 12-hole cupcake/muffin tray

3” Snowflake shaped cutter (optional)

TIP: If you are not going to use the pastry immediately, it can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days

Method

By hand:

  1. Sift the flour, salt and icing sugar, if using, from a height on to a cool, clean, dry surface. Add the butter and work into the flour – work towards the middle, rubbing the mixture between your thumb and fingers but handling as little as possible – until it resembles rough breadcrumbs. 
  2. Add the water very gradually and evenly, 1 teaspoon at a time, until there’s just enough to bring the dough together into one piece. Form into a round ball. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least an hour.

In a food processor or stand mixer:

  1. Chill the mixing bowl and correct pastry attachment in the fridge for 30 minutes. 
  2. Sift the flour, salt and icing sugar, if using, into a large bowl. Add the butter, then cover with a plate and transfer to the freezer for 10 minutes. 
  3. Transfer to your food processor or stand mixer and combine in quick pulses to just bring it to the breadcrumbs stage. 
  4. Add the water gradually until it comes together as a dough. Form into a round ball. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Remove the dough from the fridge, allow it to soften enough to roll out easily, then roll it out to around 3mm thickness. Cut disks to fit your (greased) cupcake pan and your stars (to act as the ‘lid’ of the pie. Line your tray with the pastry and return both the lined tray and stars to the fridge to rest for another 1/2 hour. 

To assemble your pies:

Preheat oven to 180c

Spread the chopped potato out in a baking tray coated in olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt.

Roast for 30 mins or until crisp and browning

Now combine the cheese and potato evenly and spread evenly between the pie shells

Top each with a 30g scoop of Branstons (spread evenly over the top)

Top each with a pastry snowflake, then brush with the egg wash, a sprig of thyme and a crack of black pepper.

Bake for 30-35 mins or until the pastry is cooked through and evenly brown over the top.

TIP: depending on your oven you may want to rotate the pan half way through the baking time.

Lily Vanilli