Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Charity auction for Mince Pies from the UK's Best Chefs (& a recipe to try)

This Christmas, people are once again in with a chance to get their mince pies made by the UK’s best chefs and restaurants as The Mince Pie Project returns, all in aid of charity. Already confirmed to take part are Michel Roux Jnr, Raymond Blanc, Marcus Wareing, Clare Smyth and Claire Clark.

Chefs from across the UK are taking part and will each cook a unique batch of 50 mince pies. Each box will be sold online in a 72 hour auction, from midday on the 11th December to midday on the 14th of December. Bids will be able to be made and all the action followed on The Mince Pie Project website (www.themincepieproject.com). All proceeds from the project will be donated to Galvin's Chance and Crisis.

Last year’s project saw 36 great chefs take part and raised almost £10,000 for charity. Ashley Palmer-Watts, Executive Chef at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, raised the most money, with his box of 50 deep fried mince pies fetching £1,000. This year the project is set to be bigger and better, with an exciting new line up of chefs from across the UK. The full line up will be announced early December.

Competition is already hotting up between the chefs, who are all vying to raise the most money and take home ultimate mince pie bragging rights. ‘It’s all about charity, but secretly every chef wants their mince pies to raise the most money. Ashley Palmer-Watts came up with a great idea last year, so he will be the man to beat’, says Angela Hartnett, one of the chefs already confirmed for this year’s project.

About the charities

Galvin’s Chance is a training and work placement programme for disadvantaged young people aged 18-24 who are not in education, employment or training. Initiated by Chris Galvin, Chef Patron and Fred Sirieix at Galvin at Windows in 2009, the intention of the programme is to provide access to opportunities and training for a front of house career in some of the most prestigious hotels, restaurants and food service management organisations in London. 

Crisis is the national charity for single homeless people. They are dedicated to ending homelessness by delivering life-changing services and campaigning for change. Their innovative education, employment, housing and wellbeing services address individual needs and help people to transform their lives.

The Mince Pie Project

11th-14th December 2012

T: @mincepieproject

If you'd like a new twist on the traditional mince pie recipe to try out at home, here's one of the contenders for you :

M’PIGLIATI  (recipe from Francesco Mazzeifrom L'Anima)

Ingredients (for approximately 35 pieces)

500g Strong white flour
90g Marsala
20g Sugar
2 Eggs
50g Unsalted butter
2g Salt
1tbls Orange zest

200g Dry figs
200g Dry Apricots
100g Sultanas
50g Hazelnuts (toasted)
30g Pistachios (toasted)
30g Walnuts (toasted)
30g Pine nuts (toasted)
4 Golden apples
1tbls Butter
1tbls Vanilla sugar
200g Mosto cotto
200g Honey

Mix all the pastry ingredients together to form a dough and leave to rest for about one hour.

In the meantime, peel and cut the apples into small cubes. In a pre-heated pan, melt the butter before adding the apples and vanilla sugar and leave to cook until golden brown.
In a mortar, crush the dried fruits and nuts into a paste. Mix the paste with the apples and leave to cool down.

Roll out the pastry thinly and cut into long rectangle strips horizontally. Spoon the filling onto the rectangle, leaving a little room at the edges, and roll it lengthwise like a jelly roll. Preheat the oven to 170 °C and bake for approximately 20 minutes until golden brown. Let them cool down and then brush the top with some honey, followed by mosto cotto.

Other blogposts you may be interested in :

Hotel Chocolat Purist Christmas Wreath review

Want to get your kitchen smelling of lovely mince pies?
Luxury Christmas Foods from Aldi review


  1. sounds like a great competition, I wouldn't mind being a judge on this one!!! the recipe sounds delicious too - may have to try it

  2. what a great change to mince pies. I'm not a lover of mince pies so this would be such a lovely idea

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