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Spicy Chocolate-Mince Pie

By November 2003Comments

Recipe from Lilla Geisler, Biga on the Banks, San Antonio

Crust

1 3/4 cups (7 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 stick (8 tablespoons) cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 egg yolk
4 to 5 tablespoons ice water

Sift dry ingredients together. With a pastry blender, cut in butter until it forms pea-size pieces. Add egg yolk and 4 tablespoons of the water and gently mix until dough holds together. Do not overwork (add last tablespoon of water if dough is dry). Divide into 2 balls, press each into a disk about 5 inches in diameter, wrap each in plastic, and chill for at least an hour to firm up.

Filling

zest of 3 oranges, in strips
zest of 3 lemons, in strips
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 pound green apples, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
3/4 cup dried currants
3/4 cup dried cherries
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 cup chopped nuts of your choice (such as pecans or hazelnuts or a combination of the two)
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 to 1/2 cup good-quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped to size of chocolate chips
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 tablespoons brandy
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 tablespoons Demerara sugar, preferably Billington’s, for garnish

Put orange and lemon zest, 1 cup of the sugar, and 3 cups water in a saucepan and boil for 10 minutes. Pour zest into a strainer, rinse under running water, and chop finely.

In a mixing bowl, combine apples, dried fruit, spices, nuts, and chopped citrus zest. In a saucepan over low to medium heat, heat remaining sugar, the butter, corn syrup, chocolate, vanilla, and brandy until butter and chocolate are melted. Remove from heat and stir in egg.

Place a cookie sheet in the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out bottom crust and line a 9-inch metal pie pan. Roll out top crust. Combine fruit mixture with chocolate mixture and pour into pie shell. Place top crust over filling. Brush with water and sprinkle with Demerara sugar. Bake on preheated cookie sheet until crust is golden brown, about 1 hour.

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