In the 2015 Celebrate issue of Sweet Magazine Rebecca Sullivan created a collection of recipes reimagining Christmas favourites with wonderful Australian native ingredients. Featured on the front cover of our eighth printed issue, these Australian Native Christmas Mince Pies are our favourite from the collection! Rebecca is the driving force behind The Granny Skills Movement. Her mission; to safeguard ‘granny skills’, by protecting food heritage, culture skills, knowledge and tradition, passing down what grannies know best. From growing food to making soap, brewing stock to weaving a basket, she’s preserving the skills most precious to us.
In January this year Rebecca and her partner Damien launched Warndu, a wellbeing brand with a mission to regenerate culture, community, tradition, health and soil by championing native Australian foods.
Australian Native Christmas Mince Pies
400 g raisins
400 g dried muscatels
200 g dried apricots
100 g candied orange rind
100 g candied ginger
3 Granny Smith apples
1 cup muntries or an extra Granny Smith apple
2 ginger limes
1 tsp ground cloves
200 g dried riberries
500 g firmly packed soft brown sugar
100 g chopped almonds macadamias
1 tsp ground cinnamon myrtle
2 tsp lemon myrtle powder
1 tsp wattleseed powder
1 tsp ground nutmeg
100 ml orange liqueur such as Grand Marnier or Cointreau
125 ml brandy
225 g cold butter, grated 350 g plain our
100 g raw caster sugar 1 tbs wattleseed powder 280 g mincemeat
1 small egg
Icing sugar, to dust
Make your Australian Native Christmas Mince Pies
To make the filling for your Christmas mince pies, finely chop the raisins, muscatels, dried apricots, candied orange rind, candied ginger and the unpeeled apples. Combine all of the ingredients except for the alcohol. Transfer to a greased large baking dish, cover and set aside for a few hours.
Cover with baking paper and bake in the oven at 100oC for 3–4 hours. Cool, stirring regularly. Once cool, stir in the alcohol and spoon the mixture into sterilised jars. Seal, label and store in a cool, dark place.
TIP: Ideally allow to mature for 3–12 months before using.
To make the pastry, rub the grated butter into the our. Mix in the sugar and a pinch of salt. Combine the pastry into a large ball and knead it brie y, don’t over knead. The dough will be fairly rm, like shortbread dough. You can use the dough immediately, or chill for later.
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line 18 holes of two 12 -hole small shallow pie tin with a little butter. Roll out the pastry and use a small glass to cut out rounds just big enough to pit in the tin. Push them in gently. Spoon a large heaped tablespoon of mincemeat into each pie.
Take slightly smaller balls of pastry than before and pat them out between your hands to make round lids, big enough to cover the pies. You can cut out shapes such as stars instead if you like or use thin slices to make lattice. Top the pies with their lids, pressing the edges gently together to seal; you don’t need to seal them with milk or egg, as they will stick on their own.
Beat the egg and brush the tops of the pies if you like them shiny and sprinkle with a little sugar. Bake for 20 minutes until golden. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack. Once cool, lightly dust with icing sugar. They will keep for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container. Serve warm with cream, ice cream or brandy custard.
NOTE: If you cannot get muntries (native apple) use an extra Granny Smith apple.