Monday, 15 December 2014

Mince Pie and Custard Bars

shortbread, mincemeat and custard

I never used to like mince pies you know. As with a lot of Christmas sweet treats, they were full of dried fruit such as sultanas, currants, raisins and other things which my palate didn’t really take to.

But as I got older, I got braver and I started to not mind dried fruits quite so much. Now, I still wouldn’t go near a Christmas pudding, but I do quite like a mince pie with its warming, slightly spicy filling.

So this year I decided to bake something with mincemeat in it.  I didn’t quite go the whole hog and make my own mincemeat, but if you are so inclined my good friend Kevin at ‘The Crafty Larder’ has a vegetarian slow-cooker recipe which look simple and delicious.

shortbread, mincemeat and custard

I decided to make my mincemeat treats into bars, or squares, by baking a shortbread type base (replacing pastry), slathered with a jar of mincemeat and then more shortbread crumbled on top. To finish with I wanted something to decorate it with,  which turned out to be a really easy custard drizzle.

So easy, all I did was open a packet of instant custard powder and mixed it with some milk until I got a drizzling consistency. The drizzle set after a little while and added a little extra sweetness from something you would normally associate with mince pies.

Disneyboi is a true lover of mince pies and he gobbled these bars up in no time at all!

225 grams butter
260 grams plain flour
150 grams granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
400 grams mincemeat (1 regular jar)
I packet of instant custard powder
1-2 tablespoons milk

Line a 9”x13” baking pan with greaseproof paper. Preheat the oven to 180C.
In a food processor pulse the butter, flour, sugar, salt, orange rind and cloves until it begins to form a ball. Tip half of it into the lined baking pan and with a spatula press down into an even layer, so the bottom of the pan is completely covered. Reserve the other half.
If using shop-bought mincemeat, warm it slightly in the microwave (about 30 seconds or so) then spread it evenly, all over the layer of dough.

With the remaining dough crumble this over the top of the mincemeat. You should still be able to see patches of the mincemeat peeking through.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the top layer of shortbread crumbles is golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool fully. Using the greaseproof paper remove it from the pan and cut into squares.

To make the custard drizzle, empty the packet of instant powder into a jug and add 1 tablespoon of milk, stirring this through so there is no dryness. If it seems too dry add more milk until it’s of drizzling consistency. With a fork or whisk drizzle it over the top of the squares.

Let it set for a while, if you can wait that long!

shortbread, mincemeat and custard

There you have a different take on your festive mince pie. Give it a try!

I am entering these into mine and Kat (The Baking Explorer)'s challenge 'Treat Petite'. Kat is hosting and the theme is Christmas.

And I'm also entering these into this month's Alphabakes hosted by Ros (The More Than Occasional Baker...) and this month Caroline at 'Caroline Makes'. The letter is X and they are accepting any Christmassy treats. Which I believe this treat is!


  1. Lovely! No longer the Cinderella of Christmas Cookery! ;-)

    1. Indeed - these have been a big hit and no cinders ;)

  2. I might go near a Christmas pudding but it's very unlikely that I'd ever eat any of it. The same doesn't go for these - I could definitely eat plenty of these squares. Lovely.

  3. these look so gorgeous and so festive. I'm loving all these alternative mince pie recipes this year! Merry Christmas!

    1. Merry Christmas Dom - and Happy Holidays in both senses!

  4. I reckon all mince pies should have custard drizzle on the top. It is just what they need!!

  5. I was just introduced to your blog through kitchenfrolic' cookie advent calendar. Love your experimental nature! And these bars look great

    1. Thanks for stopping by Ann - I hope you become a regular visitor!

  6. Such a genius idea Stuart, I love mince pie and custard together so much! Great entry for Treat Petite too :)

    1. Great combo, even better than the original I think personally!


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