Queen Royal –  Royal pastry chefs reveal mince pie recipes for Buckingham Palace

Queen Royal – Royal pastry chefs reveal mince pie recipes for Buckingham Palace

The Queen’s pastry chefs have provided a rare insight into Christmas preparations at Buckingham Palace – including two very elaborate mince pie recipes Palace cooks prepare two different varieties of mince pies totalling 1,200 for every event – one traditional with puff pastry and one slightly smaller pie topped with flaked almonds In a blog post shared on the royal family’s official website on Monday, Royal Pastry chef Kathryn Cuthbertson and Chef de Partie Victoria Scupham – who have 17 years’ experience between them – lifted the lid on their  tricks of the trade These include the importance of having ‘cold hands’ when preparing the pastry, adding a healthy dose of sherry and seasoning with orange zest – just a few of the 19 different ingredients that go into the mince pies They also revealed the mincemeat is prepared ‘months in advance’ and stored in the pantry to give them a head start before the festive season gets underway   While Cuthbertson’s top tip is to ‘give yourself plenty of time’, Scupham highlighted the importance of ensuring your pastry is the right consistency, adding: ‘Pastry is not something that likes to be rushed ‘Palace chefs regularly cater for charities and organisations with links to the royal family, and guests will be treated to iced gingerbread biscuits during one such event being held this week  Another festive favourite in the palace is sablés à la confiture – better known as Jammy Dodgers – which are made with homemade jam Lucky guests will also feast on chocolate roulade, which is ‘cut up into slices and served to guests on silver platters’, according to the blog post Former royal chef Darren O’Grady has previously revealed the Queen adores dark chocolate, hates garlic – and that Princes William and Harry loves McDonald’s Happy Meals  All the recipes are included in Royal Collection Trust’s book, Royal Teas: Seasonal Recipes from Buckingham Palace  Royal palace mince pies  IngredientsFor the Mincemeatzest and some juice of 1 unwaxed lemonzest and some juice of 1 unwaxed orange2 tablespoons brandy1 tablespoon of port1 tablespoon of rum1 tablespoon of sherry120g (1 cup) suet160g (3/4 cup) golden sultanas100g (1/2 cup) raisins100g (1/2 cup) mixed peel100g (1/2 cup) currants1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon1 2 teaspoon ground cloves160 (6oz) russet apples, peeled and grated500g (1lb 2 oz) sweet pastryEgg washed for sticking lids on the basesGranulated sugar for the top of the mince pies before bakingIcing sugar for dustingEquipment12 hole non-stick shallow baking tray /mince pie tin 32 x 24 cm/ 12 5 x 9″fluted or plain cuttersMethod. Place all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir Then add all the liquid and grated apple and allow to soak for at least one week in a 1kg kilner jar sat in the fridge or pantry Preheat the oven to 190° C (375° F, gas mark 5). Roll the sweet pastry into a sheet approximately 2 to 3 mm thick, place on a tray, and allow to rest in the fridge Once rested, cut tops and bottoms for your mince pies using fluted or plain cutters (selecting sizes to fit your tin) Place the pie bases into the tin and prick them with a small knife or fork to prevent the pastry from rising during the baking Spoon a teaspoon of the home-made mincemeat into the base and egg wash the edge of the pastry to enable the lids to stick Place the mince pies in the fridge to rest for another 30 minutes, then add a pastry top to each, egg washing it and pricking a small hole in the top to allow the steam to escape Sprinkle with granulated sugar. Place the baking tray on the middle shelf of the preheated oven and bake the pies for about 15 minutes, or until the pastry turns golden and the mincemeat starts to boil slightly Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before taking the pies out of their tin Sprinkle the mince pies with icing sugar and serve immediately. To add a festive feel, the mince pie tops could be shaped with a star cutter or perhaps a holly-shaped cutter

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