Saturday, 17 December 2011

Peatreek Whisky Mince Pies

Ready to go in the oven.
Despite being snowed under at work, like a Glenfiddich Cask in 2010, I have found time to embark on a little experiment. My theory was that whisky is an ideal accompaniment to any Christmas cuisine, then I hypothesised that mince pies may be an excellent example of this. Mincemeat has brandy or rum stirred through it so why not whisky?

The base of my mincemeat was Bramley apples, medium cider and soft dark brown sugar. Then enhanced with some lemon zest and juice, almonds, raisins, currents, and a spice combination. Once this had stewed and cooled I stirred through a generous dose of whisky. The choice of whisky was a no-brainer, only the Compass Box Spice Tree would do. Its cardamon, clove, nutmeg and cinnamon flavour profile would perfectly harmonise with the mincemeat.

The first lesson I learnt was that although the mincemeat tasted fantastic (I apologise for the vanity, but it really did), it didn't taste overly whiskyfied. Maybe the Spice Tree complimented the mincemeat too well? So my next move was to make whisky butter. Now I make rum butter (one part butter, one part light brown sugar, a little Nutmeg and complete saturation with rum) to go with Frei Kirk. Frei Kirk is a Scottish Christmas pudding from a recipe passed down through my Dad's side of the family. The recipe is a secret so I am forbidden to divulge it here, although please feel free to drop by my flat on Christmas day for a taste. So my plan was to substitute the rum for the Spice Tree and by jingo did it work. I separated the lids from the (cooked) mince pies and spread the whisky butter over the mincemeat before replacing the lid. What I was left with was a mince pie with a distinct whisky flavour that didn't overpower the mincemeat but added more depth and warmth to a Christmas staple.

I am now thinking of stirring whisky through the pastry instead of water, maybe some Bowmore Tempest (Batch 3), who knows?

Peatreek Whisky Mince Pies & Butter
ABV Unknown - No Age Statement - Baked at Peatreek HQ
Nose: Pastry
Palate: Stewed apple, spice, sweet butter and Scotch Blended Malt Whisky.
Finish: Moreish!
Overall: The start of further whisky-food-combinations.

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