Mince pies

Best served warm straight from the oven with a generous dollop of whipped cream or brandy butter

Ingredients (Makes 12)

  • 225g/8oz plain flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 100g/4oz chilled butter, diced
  • 3-4 tbsp cold water
  • 225g/8oz mincemeat
  • Milk for brushing
  • Caster sugar for sprinkling
  • Whipped cream or brandy butter (see below) to serve

Lightly grease a 12-hole patty tin.

Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the butter and, using your fingertips, lightly rub it into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Gradually add the water, stirring with a blunt knife, until the mixture begins to come together. Add extra water if necessary.

Gather the dough together and knead it gently, very briefly, on a lightly floured surface. Wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 190°C, 375°F, Gas 5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out just over half the pastry and stamp out 12 circles using a 7.5cm/3in fluted cutter.

Gently press these circles into the prepared patty tin. Spoon the mincemeat evenly between the pastry cases.

Roll out the remaining pastry and stamp out 12 circles using a 6cm/2 1/2in cutter. Dampen the edges of the pastry circles with a little water, then place them on top of the pies in the patty tin, dampenededges down. Pinch the edges together to seal.

Brush the tops with a little milk then sprinkle with caster sugar. Using a sharp knife, cut little holes or a slit in the top of each pie.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until the pastry is cooked and lightly browned. Remove from the oven and leave the pies in the tin to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve warm with a dollop of whipped cream or brandy butter.

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