Mincemeat is something very traditional during Christmas in England and mainly comes in the form of mince pies - shortcrust pastry cases filled with the sweet, fragrant and sticky mince meat. It is usually made of dried fruit (sultanas and raisins), spices including clove and sometimes spirits.
You can make your own mince meat or you can buy it in a jar.
I admit mincemeat and mince pies are not very popular in our home, but when I saw the ready-made cranberry and port mincemeat it provoked my imagination. Cranberries (unlike dried grapes) are quite appealing in all possible forms. It might me because of the slight tanginess they have (unlike dried grapes) and the balance of sweet and tangy.
And the jar of cranberries and port just got me thinking - how about such mince pies? Then I actually had a better idea. Why not make make pops like cake pops but made of mince pies? And wrapped in chocolate. Oh, yes!
The even I am going to bring these is the Food Blogger's Gift Swap event organised by Vanessa Kimbell to be help on Nov 18, 2011 in Fortnum and Mason's department store, a British iconic symbol located at Piccadilly.
The mince pie pop recipe was designed to mimic a mince pie - but crumbled, covered in chocolate and stuck on a lollipop. Hence I thought I should use shortbread. But for a couple of reasons I could not get shortbread, and instead discovered some rich tea biscuits at home, so I used them.
I would have used less butter in case I used shortbread.
Besides super cute, the pops are so delicious!
Alternatively to inserting a lollipop stick, you can place them in pastry cases as truffles.
Mince meat pops!
(makes 20-24 balls)
250 gr mincemeat (I used cranberry and port mince meat from Waitrose)
10-13 rich tea biscuits (alternatively 7-8 shortbread fingers)
50 gr butter
100 gr walnut kernels
150 gr dark chocolate for dipping
for the snowflake toppers:
50 gr chocolate and shallow snowflake moulds
edible pearl powder
Crush the biscuits and walnut kernels using a pestle and mortar until relatively fine, but leave some bigger pieces.
In a bowl mix the mince meat, butter, biscuits and walnuts and mix for a couple of minutes until everything is nice ans sticky. If the mixture is not sticky enough add more biscuits.
Make balls, place on a tray and leave in the fridge for 2 hours.
Temper the chocolate. Dip the top of a lollipop stick with the chocolate and then insert into the mince meat pops.
Dip the pops into the chocolate, remove excess chocolate and place on a baking paper to dry overnight.
To make the snowflake toppers - melt the white chocolate and pour into the moulds. Place in the fridge to set. To decorate them - remove from the mould and work with a paint brush to apply the pearl powder.
to assemble the pops:
Melt a little bit of chocolate. Use a very little amount on top of the pops to "glue" the snowflake toppers.
Place in a polystyrene bock to dry.
To make the boxes I used ordinary plain colour boxes, wrapped in packing paper.
For the box toppers, I used an ordinary Christmas tree ornament snowflake, fastened to the box with a selection of ribbons!