It wouldn’t be Christmas without mince pies! These little beauties taste even better than the store-bought version – and not just because you’ve lovingly made them with your own hands! The shortcrust pastry is perfectly soft and crumbly, and the filling steals the show with plenty of fruit and spices to create the most delicious mince.
Use a splash of sherry or brandy in the mix to really bring that Christmassy feel, or substitute with orange juice if you need something non-alcoholic. Serve them warm out of the oven or heat them up a little in the microwave and serve with cream, custard, or ice cream. YUM!
1. Preheat oven to 180C and grease a shallow cupcake tray with butter. Dust a clean surface and rolling pin with flour, then roll half the pastry out to 2-3ml thick. Carefully cut out 12 circles with a pastry cutter or a clean glass, then lay them in the tray and place them in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, spoon fruit mince into a mixing bowl, breaking it up with a spoon as you go. Pour in brandy, sherry or orange juice, then add apple, ginger, dried fruits and mixed spice, then mix well.
3. Roll out the remaining pastry to the same thickness. Using a smaller cutter than before, cut out another 12 circles – these will be the lids for your pies.
4. Take pastry bases out of the fridge and fill just over halfway with mincemeat, then smooth filling out to edges. Beat egg and milk together, then brush over the top edges of the pastry. Lay lids on top, then crimp edges together with your thumb and forefinger so the lids stick to the bases. Brush the top once more with egg wash.
5. Bake in the oven for around 25 minutes, or until pastry is cooked through and golden on top. Dust with icing sugar before serving.