It’s not often I have a guest post to share with you, but when my best friend Bobble Bardsley tweeted a picture of his Mincemeat Vol au Vents I knew it was a stroke of genius that needed to be shared. I dislike pastry so I struggle with mince pies, but the idea of a Mincemeat Vol au Vent is fantastic, all the traditional mince pie taste but with considerably less of the claggy pastry. I am definitely going to try these out! Over to you Bob….
These delicious morsels were an accident – we ran out of fillings for our vol au vents one Christmas (in the 2010s, not the 1980s!) so the mincemeat came out of the cupboard and we filled the last few pastry cases with that.
It was a revelation. If you find homemade mince pies a bit too chewy, or your pastry always goes ‘caramelised’ (AKA burnt) these are a great alternative, and can be made from scratch within about 15 minutes.
- Frozen vol au vent cases
- Milk/egg wash
- Icing sugar (for decoration)
- Remove the vol au vent cases from their packaging, wash with milk or egg so they go golden brown when baked, and arrange on a baking tray with a small gap between them.
- Bake according to the packaging instructions – I used Jus-Rol vol au vents, and the instructions were 220C for about 13-15 minutes.
- With a few minutes spare, remove the vol au vents from the oven. They should already be golden, and very nearly cooked.
- Push down their ‘hats’ to create a hollow, and add a teaspoon of mincemeat to each one. A dozen vol au vents will take anywhere around 150-200g depending on how much you fill them.
- Return to the hot oven for a few minutes until the suet has melted and the mincemeat has ‘relaxed’ into the bottom of its pastry nest.
- Remove and allow to cool – at this stage I used a flour sifter to dust with icing sugar, but if you don’t have a sweet tooth, the mincemeat and pastry alone are delicious together.
- I prefer to glaze with milk rather than egg – be generous, so your pastry is quite ‘wet’ when it goes into the oven.
- Have a palette knife or sharp-edged silicone spatula ready to prise the pastry cases off of the baking tray once they’re done, or use non-stick baking parchment if you have any.
- Be quite frugal with the mincemeat. They might not look very full, but you’ll be glad of that when you take a bite, and the flaky vol au vent pastry starts to collapse – it’s much easier to just shove the whole thing in at once and then reach for another.