Christmas brings us many things. Silly jumpers, drinks with friends, and food. Lots and lots of food. Mince pies are a favourite of mine but however good some of the supermarket ranges are now, nothing beats homemade. These are very simple to do, but give you the flexibility to adjust your filling to your own preference, I use port, you can use brandy or apple juice. You can even mix up the extra dried fruit, adding your favourites.
For 12 you will need:
- 1 large roll of shortcrust pastry, or 2 standard rolls, taken out the fridge and hour before using
- 400g mince meat
- 100g dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons port
- 4 teaspoons golden caster sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- Butter for greasing
- Icing sugar for dusting
- A 12 hole cupcake tin
- A round cookie cutter around 2cm wider than the top of the tin holes
- A star/snowflake/christmas tree cutter just smaller than the top of the tin holes
Preheat your oven to 200° and grease the cupcake tin with butter. The deeper slots work better than a traditional ‘jam tart’ tin.
Unroll the pastry and make sure you have enough pastry for 12 of each cutter, roll it with a rolling in a little to make extra.
Cut out the 12 circles and 12 small shapes. Press one circle into each hole of the tin, pressing into the base and around the sides to flatten it out. Don’t worry if it stays a little rustic!
In a small bowl mix the mince meat, cranberries and port until well combined. Add a spoonful into each pastry base as evenly as you can. Place a pastry shape on top of each one.
Egg wash the tops of the pies and sprinkle a little caster sugar over each one.
Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown. Cool still in the tin for 15 minutes then carefully take out the pies with a knife and leave to cool on a wire rack. Sprinkle with icing sugar to finish off. You can do this while they’re still a little warm if you’d like a ‘fresh from the oven’ pie!