Recipe: Middle Eastern fruit mince pies

Recipe: Middle Eastern fruit mince pies

30m prep | 35m cook

Last updated

Christmas is a time for traditions, be it the decorating of the tree, the on-a-loop playlist of festive tunes, or the warming, celebratory aromas of cinnamon, cardamom, dried fruit and pastry.

Not only are fruit mince pies delicious, the scents escaping the oven as they bake fill the house like the gentle glow of twinkling fairy lights.

The origins of fruit mince pies hark back to the 13th century, when European crusaders returned from the Middle East with recipes rich with fruit, spices and meat. With ingredients evoking the gifts presented to Jesus by the magi in the Christmas story, fruit mince pies quickly became a traditional way to celebrate the season.

This surprisingly quick recipe takes the mince pie essentials - vibrant dried and candied fruit, crisp nuts, warming, festive spices - and adds a Middle Eastern twist that evokes the origins of the yuletide treat.

Barberries, orange blossom water, pomegranate molasses, cardamom powder and pistachios bring rich complexity to the fruity mix, while dried and candied fruits, cinnamon and rich muscovado sugar keep things nostalgic and familiar.

Visit your nearest The Essential Ingredient store for all your festive bakeware and baking ingredients. Don’t live near a store? Buy online for delivery to anywhere in Australia.

Ingredients (Serves - makes 12 single-serve pies)

  • 75g dried barberries
  • 75g dried sour cherries
  • 75g dried apricots
  • 75g green raisins
  • 75g golden raisins
  • 75g candied orange peel, finely diced
  • 75g candied apricots, finely chopped
  • 75g green pistachio slivers
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, grated
  • Juice and zest of two oranges
  • 200g muscovado sugar
  • 45mL orange blossom water
  • 30mL pomegranate molasses
  • 50mL brandy (optional)
  • 4tsp ground cardamom
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp cold butter
  • 3 sheets butter puff or shortcrust pastry
  • Snow sugar and extra green pistachio slivers to serve

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