Looking for a traditional ending to your Christmas feast this year?

Why not try this Irish mince pie recipe that will keep everybody happy as you sit down to snooze in front of the fire with the post-dinner cup of tea.

A perfect recipe to whip up if you're expecting to have plenty of neighbors, family, and friends dropping in and out over the Christmas period, there'll be nothing else to do but stick on the kettle and dish out these pies to look the perfect host.

Mincemeat filling ingredients:

Makes 1 1/2 qt.

1/2 lb finely chopped fresh beef suet
1 1/4 cups of sugar
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
4 cups raisins, seedless
2 cup currants, dried
1/2 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup candied citron, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup figs, dried and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup candied orange peel, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup candied lemon peel, coarsely chopped
2 cups peeled and cored cooking apples, coarsely chopped
1 cup of pale dry sherry
2 1/2 cups of brandy

Preparing the mincemeat:

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except for the brandy and sherry and stir well.

Pour in brandy and sherry. Using a wooden spoon, mix together all ingredients until well moistened.

Next, cover the container of mincemeat, and store it in a cool place for 3 weeks (do not store in the refrigerator).

Once a week, check on the mincemeat. The fruit will absorb the liquid. Using about 1/2 cup at a time of brandy and sherry, replenish the liquid. When kept covered in a cool location without refrigeration, mincemeat can be kept indefinitely.

If preferred, after about a month you can refrigerate the mincemeat.

Mince pie ingredients:

Makes eight 2 1/2-inch pies and requires the following pastry plus 8 teaspoons softened butter and 1-1/2 cups mincemeat.

8 tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cut into bits
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp ice water

Preparing and baking the crust:

Preheat oven to 375° F. With a pastry brush, coat bottom and sides of 8 (2 1/2-inch) tart tins with the softened butter, allowing 1 teaspoon for each tin.

Combine butter, flour, salt, sugar, either in bowl or food processor. Add enough water to make the mixture just adhere together, so it is not crumbly. Form into a ball, wrap in waxed paper and chill for at least one hour.

Roll out onto floured pastry cloth and with a cookie cutter or the rim of a glass, cut 16 (3-inch) rounds of pastry. Gently press 8 rounds into tins, one at a time, then spoon about 3 tbsp of the mincemeat into each pastry shell.

With a pastry brush dipped in cold water, lightly moisten the outside edges of the pastry shells and carefully fit the remaining 8 rounds over them. Crimp the edges with a fork. Trim excess pastry from around rims with a sharp knife, and cut two parallel slits, about 1/2-inch long and 1/4-inch apart in the top of each pie.

Arrange pies on a baking sheet and bake in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° F and continue baking for 20 minutes more, or until crust is golden brown.

Run the blade of a knife around the inside edges of the pies to loosen them slightly, and set them aside to cool in the pans.

Then turn out the pies with a narrow spatula and serve. Enjoy with a cup of tea!

H/T: My Celtic Cottage. 

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* Originally published in 2014.

Recreate the delicious taste of Christmas with our luscious mince pies.iStock