Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Michael Caines' extra special mince pies...

Highly acclaimed Michael Caines MBE is Executive Head Chef at Gidleigh Park in our home town of Chagford on Dartmoor and he's kindly given us his delicious recipe for Mince Pies with Caramelised Walnuts - yum!


250g butter
175g icing sugar
3 eggs
1 pinch of salt
Zest of one orange
500g flour, sieved
150g walnuts
200ml stock syrup


Place the walnuts into the stock syrup and cook until 110ºC.
Remove using a slotted spoon and place into a fryer at 190º C until golden brown.
Remove and place onto parchment paper and lightly salt. Leave to cool.
Once cooled, add to the mincemeat mixture.

In a mixing bowl cream together the butter and the icing sugar until white using a hand blender or a whisk.
Add the sieved flour, orange zest and salt and bring the mix to a sandy crumble.
Add the eggs little-by-little, then bring the mix together on the first speed and once the mix is firm remove from the machine.
Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before using.
Roll out the pastry and cut into shapes, tops and bottoms for the individual pies.
Line a pastry tin with the pastry disks and brush the edges with clarified butter.
Add a small amount of mincemeat mixture to the centre of each pie.
Seal by adding a pastry top and again brush with a little butter for colour.
Cook at 190°C for approx 20/25 minutes until golden brown.
Once cool dust with icing sugar, if preferred.

... perfect to enjoy with a glass of warming mulled wine.


Win a signed copy of the 'Taste of Relais & Châteaux - 36 Inspirational Chefs' cookbook...

Enter our Facebook competition for a chance to win a copy of this beautiful cookbook, signed by Michael Caines and packed with stunning recipes from Michael and 35 other exceptional chefs based at Relais & Châteaux luxury hotels and gourmet restaurants in the UK and Ireland. Great for the coffee table or as a gift for the foodie in your life.

Closing date for entry is Tuesday 11th December 2012.

Read more about Michael Caines and his award-winning restaurants at Gidleigh Park, The Bath Priory and ABode hotels.

And don't miss our quick-fire 'Favourite things...' interview with Michael to find out where he likes to go and what he likes to do in the West Country.

Visit the Helpful Holidays website to see our holiday cottages in Chagford.