“Better than mince pies,” said my husband, devouring two in quick succession. These mincemeat swirls, or pinwheels, are the lazy girl’s answer to Christmas catering. With a bigger than average ratio of filling to pastry, they require less than an hour of your time and only three ingredients.
But make sure those ingredients are the best you can get your hands on. I used all-butter puff pastry and my home-made quincemeat (made to my friend Ruth’s recipe) although you can pimp shop-bought in minutes with a good slug of brandy, some orange and/or lemon zest and extra spice.
I much prefer these to conventional mince pies. They’re fruitier, less stodgy and dangerously easy to eat. And if you’re pushed for time in the run-up to Christmas, they’re an absolute boon.
About 350g mincemeat
1 sheet of ready-rolled all-butter puff pastry
150g of shelled pistachio nuts.
Chop the nuts to your preferred texture – I like some nubbly bits and some chopped more finely. Line a couple of baking sheets with baking paper
Unroll the pastry, leaving it on the paper it was wrapped in. Spread it evenly with mincemeat, leaving a small margin all the way round to allow for spreading. Scatter the pistachios over the top, reserving a tablespoon to garnish.
Starting at one of the short ends, roll the pastry up as tightly as possible. Refrigerate for 20 minutes while you heat the oven to 200C/180 fan/400F/Gas Mark 6.
Then using a very sharp knife, divide it into 12 equal pieces. The easiest way to do this is to cut it in half across its circumference, then into quarters, and slice each of those into three.
Lay flat on the baking sheets, allowing plenty of room for spreading, and bake for 12-15 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden. Remove from the oven and while the swirls are still warm, scatter them with the remaining chopped nuts.
Cool briefly on the baking sheets before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight tin.
PS If you’re wondering why there are so few mincemeat swirls in the picture when the recipe makes 12, it’s because we’d already eaten half of them before I got round to photographing them.