This recipe is your basic one for mince pies – I might have a bash at a fancy version in a couple of weeks. Oh, the mincemeat. Mine was shop bought, but I did buy a posh brand (get me). I think good home-made mincemeat (Google it, sorry) needs at least a month for all the flavours to develop, and I've left it too late this year for Christmas Day – however, my mince pie pancakes on February 21 will be a treat. Makes 24.
350g plain flour
a pinch of salt
150g butter, cubed
a little milk to glaze
sprinkle of demerara or icing sugar to finish
1. Make the pastry by sifting the flour and salt into a large bowl. Add the butter and rub with your fingertips to form fine breadcrumbs.
2. Add cold water a little at a time until the mix comes together to form a smooth dough. Cover with clingfilm and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.
3. While waiting, heat the oven to 200C/gas 6 and lightly grease 2 x 12-hole pastry tins.
4. Roll out half the dough as thinly as possible and use a 7.5cm fluted cutter to make 24 rounds. Re-roll if necessary. Carefully line the tins and fill each with a good tsp of mincemeat.
5. Roll out the other half and use a 6cm fluted cutter to also make 24 rounds. Dampen edges of the smaller rounds with milk and press them lightly onto the filled larger rounds to form lids, sealing the edges.
6. Brush with milk and make a slit in the top of each pie with a pair of scissors. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.
7. Cool on a wire rack and dust with icing sugar or demerara.