Mince pies with pistachio Viennese biscuit topping

I do like to take a humble mince pie to a level that is so much more than what commercially is usually just indifferent pastry with a fairly non-descript filling. So I often vary things a little so that the mince pie is that bit more special.

I first had a mince pie with a Viennese biscuit topping several years ago and was quite taken with it: the mince pie simply melted in the mouth beautifully, leaving a lovely spicy, citrussy and sweet kick of the filling. And this is what I have tried to emulate here. Ok, with the “mince pie Christmas tree” picture above, I have taken the nod from many such arrangements that abound, but I do like the look!

Choose your topping!

Now when I make mince pies I usually go for a shortbread top and bottom, often flavoured with a little cinnamon and a touch of orange zest, but occasionally something like an almond frangipane topping or even a cinnamon crumble topping hits the spot….basically whatever takes my fancy at the time.

A touch of pistachio

This time I went for a pistachio feel, with pistachio shortcrust pastry base and a pistachio Viennese biscuit topping (I love ground nuts in biscuits): the pistachio is not overwhelming, but you get a good hint of that lovely nutty flavour.

The Viennese biscuit dough is very simple to make, and takes seconds, especially if made in the food processor. You can either dollop it on top of the mincemeat roughly, run a fork over the surface for added texture (or not) or pipe it on top.

The filling

The filling is just good quality mincemeat, tarted up with extra nuts, brandy and dried macerated cherries: and even a good mincemeat deserves tarting up at Christmas! As I have mentioned in other posts, it is well worth keeping some dried fruit in jars with Amaretto, rum or brandy; they plump up beautifully, taste glorious and are great additions to all manner of bakes.

Vanilla & cinnamon “snow”

I like to dust mince pies liberally with vanilla icing sugar, mixed with just a touch of ground cinnamon: as with vanilla caster sugar that I would not be without in my kitchen, I like to have a jar of vanilla icing sugar. Simply pop a couple of chopped (and very dry!) vanilla pods in a jar and top with icing sugar. Leave for at least a few weeks so that the sugar takes on the vanilla flavour.

Recipe for mince pies with pistachio viennese biscuit topping: makes 24

Pistachio pastry:

  • 250g plain flour
  • 85g unsalted butter
  • 40g lard
  • 3g fine salt
  • 20g icing sugar, sifted
  • finely grated zest of a small orange
  • 30g pistachios, ground until fine
  • cold water to mix

Filling:

  • good quality mincemeat
  • a few nuts (whatever you have to hand), chopped small
  • a few macerated cherries, chopped small
  • a couple of tablespoons of brandy, rum or orange juice

Topping:

  • 260g unsalted butter, very soft
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 250g plain flour
  • 50g cornflour
  • 50g pistachios, ground until fine
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To finish:

  • vanilla icing sugar
  • a little ground cinnamon

(1) Make the pastry: mix the flour, ground pistachios, icing sugar, salt and orange zest in a bowl. Rub in the lard and the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add enough cold water to form a soft but not sticky dough, and knead very lightly to form a ball. Flatten slightly, wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least 30 minutes. Alternatively, freeze for use later.

(2) Roll out the pastry thinly and cut out circles that are large enough to line greased, shallow mince pie tins. Press them gently into place.

(3) Mix the filling ingredients together and place a teaspoon or so into each pastry mould. Any surplus filling can be put back in the jar, with extra brandy if you are not going to use it within a few weeks or so. It also freezes very well!

(4) Make the Viennese biscuit topping: beat the ingredients together until very smooth and at soft-dropping consistency (the mixture drops effortlessly from the spoon back into the bowl). Beat in a little milk if needed. Then either spoon or pipe the mixture onto the mincemeat: you can cover the mincemeat fully or leave some showing.

(5) Bake in the oven at 160C(fan) for 14-15 minutes or until the top is pale golden-brown and firm. Leave to cool in the tins for a few minutes then transfer to a cooling rack. Dust liberally with vanilla icing sugar mixed with a little cinnamon.

Advertisements

3 comments

  1. Those little pies are beautiful!! I do love brandied fruit, have only had in fruit cake but can imagine how delicious these little pies are. Love the biscuit topper and they look so festive.Happy Holidays.

    Like

    1. Thank you. Yes brandied fruit is the best isn’t it. Have a great Christmas

      Like

  2. These look amazing. I usually add a bit of almond flour to the dough, but love your idea of adding pistachios! Will keep it in mind for next time. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Sauce Box

Never get lost in the Sauce

Something Sweet Something Savoury

Family friendly recipes from a chaotic kitchen

Indian Curry Shack By Anugya

A Recipe Repertoire For Everyday Cooking

Foodfanatic

Good food, without fuss

Julie's Family Kitchen

A home for cooking and baking recipes

God's Little Acre Farm Blog

Sharing the little things in life, one blog at a time!

Food without fuss

Simple food, big on flavour!

The Recipe Hunter

Cook and Enjoy

My Baking Adventure

Going on an adventure or baking a new dessert - they both bring you joy and fill you with happiness

Splash of Happiness

Splashing happiness in your day

the chef mimi blog

So Much Food. So Little Time.

It's All Frosting...

Projects, recipes, and other things that make life fun!

Come dine with Teo

Because eating is a necessity, but savouring is a pleasure.

joannas sydney

An insider's guide to Sydney, Australia

ten.times.tea

food books (?) pretentious writing etc

biscuits and pieces

Food, lifestyle and everything in between

Journey of a Blogvelist

The Writing of Curtis Bausse

Stefan's Gourmet Blog

Cooking, food, wine

dulceideabloguea

el blog de dulceidea

This is not a pie

Young baker from Brighton presents her recipes

Bakers and Best

Baking the Michigan Difference into every loaf.

Charlotte's Web of Bakes

The outcomes of an experimental (albeit amateur) baking enthusiast!

TASTECELEBRATION

All about the passion for food

Cooking without Limits

Food Photography & Recipes

Eat The Roses

Highly Opinionated Thoughts About Food, The Universe and Everything

I Dream in Buttercream

Cloud9.1's Baking Blog

Le Céleste Pâtisserie

Professional Chef Recipes and knowledge source for patisserie, baking and pastry

vannillarock

baking adventures on both sides of 'the pond'

Knead to Dough

the go-to site for your foodie blog and biz resources

Love Grace and Cakes

Sitting here in a pile of flour and icing sugar, drinking wine

Wuthering Bites

Simple Gluten Free recipes for any time of day.

The Baking Hermit

Hobby baker who enjoys learning about the science and techniques behind making the perfect baked goods that taste and look good.

Blissfully Scrumptious

Blissfully scrumptious recipes for cakes and bakes

フレピュアはアマゾンと楽天NG←啓発サイト

Baking from the heart...with a pinch of guilt-free indulgence!

Natascha's Palace

A blog about culinary adventures from a Canadian living in Spain

KitchenSpells

Cook. Bake. Eat.

lili's cakes

Pâtisserie Sans Frontières

Addicted to the Sweet Life

Two uni students exploring Melbourne's food destinations

joseybakerbread

share the loaves

apuginthekitchen

good food with simple ingredients

food for fun

enjoying what's on my plate

Clandestine Cake Club

Bake, Eat, Talk about Cake

Every Nook & Cranny

...is simply filled with food

Preheat the Oven

with Chef Jae

%d bloggers like this: