Francesco Mazzei shares his recipe for decadent Calabrian mince pies. Made with a mixture of walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachio nuts and dried fruit, they’re best enjoyed when paired with a glass of Marsala for the perfect post-dinner treat.
For the pastry:
500ml of strong plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp of Marsala wine
200g of whipping cream
10g of lard, or olive oil or butter
For the pastry filling:
50g of walnuts
50g of pistachio nuts
50 dried figs, roughly chopped
50g of dried apricots, roughly chopped
150g of heather blossom honey
2 egg yolks, beaten
250ml of mosto cotto
1 Mix all of the pastry ingredients together using a spatula until fully combined. You should have a soft but not sticky dough. Form the dough into a ball, cover with cling film and chill overnight.
2 For the filling, put the nuts and dried fruit into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the honey and pulse again until you have a chunky paste. Chill overnight.
3 The next day, heat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7. Line a baking tray with paper.
4 On a lightly floured work surface or using a pasta machine, roll the pastry into a 1mm thick rectangle. The pasta machine is the easiest way to ensure it’s thin enough; you should almost see your hand through it when you lift it up.
5 Trim the edges and cut the pastry into strips of 25x4cm (I used a crimped pastry cutter for this) then brush them with the beaten egg yolk.
6 Dust a work surface very lightly with icing sugar, then roll the filling into 1.5cm-diameter sausages long enough to fit the length of the pastry (25cm). Lay the rolls down the middle of each pastry strip, wrap the pastry up around it and brush the top and sides with more beaten egg so that they stick together.
7 Carefully roll the filled pastry into a pinwheel shape. Repeat – you should have seven pinwheels. Place on the lined tray and bake for 25–30 minutes, until golden brown.
8 Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Once cool, drizzle over the mosto cotto (they should be drenched) and serve.
Recipe courtesy of Francesco Mazzei for Great British Chefs. Find out more here.