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, with 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!
- Unsalted butter, for greasing
- Plain flour, for dusting
- 375g shortcrust pastry
- 200g fruit mince
- Splash of brandy, sherry or orange juice
- ½ an apple, peeled and chopped into small chunks
- 50 dried ginger, finely chopped
- 75g dried cranberries
- 50g dried apricots, finely chopped
- A pinch of mixed spice
- 1 large free-range or organic egg
- 1 tablespoon milk
- Icing sugar, for dusting
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 in fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, spoon fruit mince into a mixing bowl, breaking 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 remaining pastry to same thickness. Using smaller cutter than before, cut out another 12 circles – these will be the lids for your pies.
4. Take pastry bases out of 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 pastry. Lay lids on top, then crimp edges together with your thumb and forefinger so the lids stick to the bases. Brush top once more with egg wash.
5. Bake in oven for around 25 minutes, or until pastry is cooked through and golden on top. Dust with icing sugar before serving.
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