The ultimate Christmas treat, sugary glazed doughnuts like those from magical Christmas markets, but filled with simple homemade mincemeat, far superior to a mince pie! These are vegan but can be made with dairy milk and butter if preferred. They also work very well with a gluten-free bread flour blend.
For the dough:
• 230g strong white flour plus spare to shape (or a strong white gluten free flour blend containing xanthan gum)
• 50g caster sugar
• 120ml semi-skimmed or oat milk
• 5g salt
• 14g yeast (instant action dried)
• 50g margarine
• Zest of 1 orange
• 1-3 litres vegetable oil to fry
For the mincemeat:
• 175g finely chopped dried fruit of your choice (I used dates and cranberries, but raisins, sultanas and currents work just as well)
• 25g candied mixed peel
• 1 small apple, finely cubed
• 30g vegetable fat (or butter)
• 60g dark brown soft sugar
• ½ tsp mixed spice
• Zest and juice of 1 orange and 1 lemon
• 50ml brandy
For the glaze:
• 100ml double cream
• 50g icing sugar
• ¼ tsp vanilla extract
• Food colour optional
1) Make the mincemeat, this is really easy and can be made in one of two ways. Either add all the ingredients (not the brandy) to a saucepan and stir over a low heat for ten minutes until thickened and sticky, or microwave on medium (in a glass bowl) for three lots of one minute, stirring between each. Set aside to cool to room temperature, then stir in the brandy. If keeping to use later, store in a sterilised jar. Transfer to the fridge to chill, this will enable you to wrap dough around spoonfuls of mincemeat later
2) Make the dough in an all-in-one method, by adding everything (not the oil!) to a large mixing bowl and beating until a smooth, shiny, sticky dough forms – this will take a decent amount of effort, and at least ten minutes (alternatively, use a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment)
3) Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave in a warm place to rise for around two hours (one hour in a warm place like an airing cupboard)
4) Once the dough is risen, tip on to a floured work surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Flatten each piece into a rough circle, around 8cm in diameter.
5) Place a teaspoon of mincemeat in the middle of each dough circle, carefully fold up the sides to totally encase the mincemeat, pressing the dough together firmly, set aside to prove for about an hour.
6) Meanwhile make the glaze – gently whisk the cream, vanilla and icing sugar together until smooth, do not whisk until the cream thickens. If you wish, separate a small amount, colour and stiffen with more icing sugar to decorate.
7) To fry the doughnuts, pour the vegetable oil into the deepest saucepan you have and heat to 165oC. the temperature will keep rising, the dropping as you add dough, so keep an eye on the temperature and adjust the hob heat as needed.
8) Cook each doughnut for about a minute on each side, until golden brown, place on kitchen paper to drain the excess oil before cooling on a wire rack
9) Dip in the glaze to finish
These are best eaten fresh, and even better when still warm, to prepare in advance, roll up the dough around the mincemeat, then pop in the fridge, covered until 45 minutes before you and to fry them. This can be done up to a day in advance.