1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6/fan 180C.
Ingredients to make 18 mince pies.
- · 225g cold butter, diced
- · 350g plain flour
- · 100g caster sugar
- · 280g mincemeat, vegetarian or non vegetarian. The best you can buy.
- · 1 small egg
- · icing sugar, to dust
2. To make the pastry, rub 225g cold, diced butter into 350g plain flour, then mix in 100g caster sugar and a pinch of salt and the beaten egg. This can be done in a food processor put the butter and flour in first, when they are combined add the sugar and egg. Form the pastry into a ball – don’t add liquid – and knead it briefly. The dough should be fairly firm. You can use the dough immediately, or chill for later wrapped in cling film.
3. Line 18 holes of two 12-hole patty tins, by pressing small walnut-sized balls of pastry into each hole. Spoon the mincemeat into the pies.
4. Take slightly smaller balls of pastry than before and pat them out between your hands to make round lids, big enough to cover the pies (or you can make them into star shapes as well). Top the pies with their lids, pressing the edges gently together to seal – you don’t need to seal them with milk or egg as they will stick on their own. (The pies may now be frozen for up to 1 month).
5. Beat 1 small egg and brush the tops of the pies. Bake for 20 minutes until golden. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then put onto a wire rack. To serve, lightly dust with icing sugar. They will keep for up to a week in an airtight container, or will freeze.
The reason I have not given a mincemeat recipe is due to the fact it often needs to be made a few weeks prior to make sure it matures properly. This close to Christmas it is best to buy from the shops.
Good luck baking!