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9 (actually 12!) Mince Pies...
It has become tradition over the past few years for me to make a batch of mince pies. The recipe varies/develops year on year and I try to keep a record of what works and what to try next time. The original can be found [here] or my iteration follows below:

Tip: Grab a jar of mincemeat quick, as I did today (or prepare your own in advance); the shops here tend to sell out.

Ingredients for 12:

 - 400g jar of mincemeat
 - an apple, some satsumas/tangerines or small amount of orange chopped up small (this adds your own twist to the filling)
 - A generous splash of brandy (for a further twist)
 - 200g plain flour
 - 200g unsalted butter/margarine
 - 100g sugar (plus extra, or icing sugar, for sprinkling/dusting)
 - 2 eggs (save some for glazing)


1. Consider preparing the pastry and mixing the mincemeat the day before (if making your own mincemeat you'll need to follow a separate recipe for that - I always buy my own).

2. For the pastry, place the flour and butter in a bowl and rub together to a crumb consistency. Add the sugar and the egg, and mix together. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and fold until the pastry comes together, be careful not to over mix. Wrap the pastry in cling film and place in fridge to chill.

2. For the filling, scoop the mincemeat into a bowl and add the satsumas, apple etc and the generous splash of brandy to taste. Mix well.

3. Roll out the pastry to as thin as possible, fold and roll, fold and roll (repeating this process produces layers in the pastry and a nice final consistency - I can't remember if I do all this before refrigerating). Finally roll out to less than 3mm thick.

4. Using a 10cm cutter for the bases and a 7cm cutter for lids (or whatever works for your baking tray, I don't have these cutters so I draw round a mug/jam jar with a knife) cut out 12  bases and place them into muffin trays (I line my old trays with grease-proof paper to avoid them sticking). Share the mincemeat mixture between them. Brush the edge of each pie with a little beaten egg. Cut the lids and press them on top to seal. Glaze with the rest of the egg, sprinkle with sugar, then make a small cut in the tops.

5. Place in a pre-heated 220C/gas 7 oven. Bake mince pies for 15-20 mins until golden brown. Leave to cool before releasing them from the muffin trays and dusting with icing sugar. Serve and enjoy.