Brandy-snap mince pies with berry compote are a tarty twist on a traditional holiday favourite. It’s an English superstition that, when making fruit mincemeat, one must always stir in a clockwise direction. Stirring it anti-clockwise is supposed to bring bad luck for the year ahead. It’s also believed to be good luck to eat a mince pie each day over the 12 days of Christmas! Just don’t forget to make a wish when eating your first pie of the season.
Brandy-snap mince pies with berry compote
- 200g castor sugar
- 100ml water
- 400g mixed berries (blueberries,
- cherries, raspberries, strawberries)
- juice of 1 lemon
- 100g butter, melted
- 100g castor sugar
- 100g golden syrup
- 100g cake flour
- 30ml (2 tbsp) ground ginger
- juice of ½ lemon
- 15ml (1 tbsp) brandy
- 100g chocolate, melted
- 100g desiccated coconut
- 300g mixed red berries (cherries,
- raspberries, strawberries)
- 500ml (2 cups) water
- juice of 1 lemon
- 50g sugar
- 7 x 2,5g gelatine leaves
- pomegranate rubies, to garnish (optional)
- edible gold glitter, to garnish
For the compote, place the 200g castor sugar and 100ml water in a saucepan over medium heat and cook until the sugar has dissolved. Add the 400g berries and simmer for 5 minutes. When soft, add the juice of 1 lemon, strain and refrigerate until ready to use.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. For the brandy-snap baskets, mix together the melted butter, 100g castor sugar and golden syrup in a bowl. Add the flour, ginger, juice of ½ lemon and brandy and whisk until smooth.
Place 15cm-round moulds on a greased baking sheet, spacing them 5cm apart. Fill the rings with tablespoonfuls of the brandy-snap mixture. Smooth with a spatula to 3cm in diameter and bake in the oven until a light caramel in colour, 3 – 5 minutes. Remove from oven and leave on the tray for 30 seconds. Using a palette knife, lift the brandy-snap bases, one at a time, and place in tartlet tins or small cups (about 6cm in diameter and 3,5cm in height). Shape into the moulds and allow to cool on a wire rack. Brush the brandy-snap baskets with the melted chocolate – this will prevent soggy bases. Once almost set, dust with desiccated coconut.
For the jelly veil, place the 300g berries, 500ml (2 cups) water, juice of 1 lemon and 50g sugar in a saucepan over very low heat. Allow to infuse and let the sugar dissolve. Remove from heat and let the mixture stand, 1 hour, before straining.
Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water, 5 minutes. Once soft, squeeze out the excess water from the gelatine. Place the soaked gelatine leaves in the strained berry mixture and place over very low heat until the gelatine has dissolved. Do not allow it to boil – this will kill the setting agents in the gelatine.
Pour the berry mixture into a clean 15cm square tin and refrigerate to set, about 1 hour.
Using a 15cm-round cutter (the same size as the brandy-snap basket), cut the jelly so it will sit over the berry compote. Place the cut-outs back in the fridge until needed.
To assemble, fill the brandy-snap baskets with the cold berry compote and gently top each with veils. Garnish with pomegranate rubies, if desired, and sprinkle with edible gold glitter to serve.