Mince Pies

For a real treat this festive season make a batch of these moreish mince pies in advance – gently warm in the oven for your visitors and serve with a cup of spiced tea or perhaps a glass of mulled wine! 

Makes 12

INGREDIENTS

230g Marriage’s Finest Plain flour

160g unsalted butter, diced

60g caster or icing sugar

2 medium egg yolks

1 jar  mincemeat (400g)

Caster or icing sugar for sprinkling

Plain or fluted round cutters, 8cm and 6cm, and a mince pie tray

METHOD

Make the pastry by placing the flour and diced butter in a bowl and rubbing the butter in, so that the mixture resembles fine crumbs.

Add the sugar and egg yolk and mix together to form a soft but not sticky dough.  If there are dry crumbs, add a teaspoon of water at a time until the dough holds together. 

Wrap the dough in cling film and chill for 15-20 minutes.

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/ Gas 4.

Roll out the chilled pastry on a floured work surface to about 4mm thick. 

Cut out 12 rounds using the larger round cutter and 12 rounds with the smaller cutter, re-rolling the trimmings as necessary.

Line the tin with the large pastry rounds and fill with 1 ½ teaspoons of mincemeat.

Dampen the edges of the pastry cases using a pastry brush dipped in cold water.  Cover with the smaller rounds and press them lightly to form lids.

Make a small hole in the top of each pie with a skewer or scissors.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden.

Dust with icing sugar straight away. Cool on a wire rack before serving.

Baking tip: Mince pies can be frozen before or after baking, and are best eaten gently warmed.