Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, 93, is rumoured to be choosing to retire from her royal duties at the age of 95 and hand over the throne to her son, Prince Charles, shortly after. As the festive season are quickly approaching and soon it will be Christmas, the Queen’s pastry chef revealed that she has a “secret” mince pie recipe. So, could she be taking a step back from royal duties to focus on perfecting her “secret” mince pie recipe?
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The notion that Queen Elizabeth will retire to focus on mince pies seems like a far stretch. However, with 65 years of ruling Britain under her belt, it might very well be something that she will enjoy doing during her new found free time; although imagining the Queen in a frilly apron slaving over the perfect mince pie is hard to invision.
A few years back, the Queen’s favourite mince pie recipe was revealed by her pasty chef.
It comes as no surprise but the Queen indulges in sweet treats just like the rest of the British public and Christmas time is no different.
However, her much-loved mince pie recipe requires something a bit different to your average mince pie making. What is it?
It has previously been revealed that the recipe for the Queen’s mince pies requires months of preparation before being found on a plate in front of the queen.
In 2017 the Royal Family revealed in a post on their website: “Everything from the mincemeat to the pastry is handmade by the small team in the kitchens at Buckingham Palace. The mincemeat is made months in advance and stored in the pantry.”
However, bakers can still make the recipe without dedicating so much time.
Here’s how to make the Queen’s favourite mince pies:
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For the Mincemeat
- Zest and some juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
- Zest and some juice of 1 unwaxed orange
- 2 tablespoons brandy
- 1 tablespoon of port
- 1 tablespoon of rum
- 1 tablespoon of sherry
- 120g (1 cup) suet
- 160g (3/4 cup) golden sultanas
- 100g (1/2 cup) raisins
- 100g (1/2 cup) mixed peel
- 100g (1/2 cup) currants
- Half a teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- Half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1.2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 160 (6oz) russet apples, peeled and grated
- 500g (1lb 2 oz) sweet pastry
- Egg washed for sticking lids on the bases
- Granulated sugar for the top of the mince pies before baking
- Icing sugar for dusting
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- 12 hole non-stick shallow baking tray
- Mince pie tin 32 x 24 cm/ 12.5 x 9″
- Fluted or plain cutters
- Place all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir. Then add all the liquid and grated apple and allow to soak for at least one week in a 1kg kilner jar sat in the fridge or pantry.
- Preheat the oven to 190° C (375° F, gas mark 5)
- Roll the sweet pastry into a sheet approximately 2 to 3 mm thick, place on a tray, and allow to rest in the fridge.
- Once rested, cut tops and bottoms for your mince pies using fluted or plain cutters (selecting sizes to fit your tin). Place the pie bases into the tin and prick them with a small knife or fork to prevent the pastry from rising during the baking.
- Spoon a teaspoon of the home-made mincemeat into the base and egg wash the edge of the pastry to enable the lids to stick. Place the mince pies in the fridge to rest for another 30 minutes, then add a pastry top to each, egg washing it and pricking a small hole in the top to allow the steam to escape. Sprinkle with granulated sugar.
- Place the baking tray on the middle shelf of the preheated oven and bake the pies for about 15 minutes, or until the pastry turns golden and the mincemeat starts to boil slightly. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before taking the pies out of their tin.
- Sprinkle the mince pies with icing sugar and serve immediately. To add a festive feel, the mince pie tops could be shaped with a star cutter or perhaps a holly-shaped cutter.
The Queen’s pastry chefs also shared their key advice on the best way to make the mince pies.
Chef Kathryn Cuthbertson advised: “Give yourself plenty of time.”
Meanwhile, Chef de Partie, Victoria Scupham agreed: “Pastry is not something that likes to be rushed.”
She also advised bakers have cold hands when baking the mince pies, to keep it at the right consistency.
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