Mince pies hold the essence of Christmas within them. The very best have pastry so fragile that it collapses in the palm of your hand, and a stuffing so rich with flavour, scents and spices that it’ll conjure memories of Yuletides past the moment you bite into it.
At The Sussex Kitchen, we’ve been honing ours since we opened, and are proud to say we’ve got both pastry and mincemeat down to perfection. Our traditional recipe features no hidden tricks: just wholesome, natural and organic ingredients, mixed together from scratch, and always in house.
So what exactly is in them, you ask?
Apples, which we dice fresh in our bakery, raisins, brown sugar, whole almonds, vegetarian suet, orange zest and juice, lemon zest and juice, currents, mixed candied peel, spices and, of course brandy.
We hand zest both oranges and lemons (we did 320 this year!), which takes around 3 days, and import our candied peel from Santa Maria del Cedro in Calabria, Italy, which is known for having the best citrus fruits in the world. We wouldn’t settle for anything less.
Made to order, these little tarts are the perfect treat on a rainy (or shall we hope for snow?) day.
Photos: Catarina Emsurdina