8 oz butter, softened
1 lb all purpose flour
2 oz icing sugar
2 egg yolks
1 lb mincemeat
an ounce or two of brandy or rum - if desired
beaten egg, to glaze
bun tins to make 30 pies

Cut the butter into cubes. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl. Add the butter and, using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbes. Stir in the icing sugar. Make a well in the centre, stir in the egg yolk and about 3-4 tbsp iced water to make a soft but not sticky dough. Knead lightly to form a smooth dough (if there is time - chill for 30 minutes). Preheat oven to mark 400F or gas mark 6.

On a floured surface, roll out two thirds of the dough and cut out 30 rounds using a 2-½ inch fluted cutter. Use to line the bun tins. Fill with mincemeat*.

Re-roll remaining pastry and trimmings and cut out circles using a 2 in cutter. Dampen edges of circle and place on pies. Seal edges, brush tops with beaten egg and cook for 20 minutes.

*If desired, mix some (to taste) of the brandy or rum into the mincemeat. Mixture will be a little looser. Delicious when served alone or with custard (British - of course) or cream We highly recommend sampling the recipe repeatedly!!

Did You know?

A law enacted by Oliver Cromwell banned the eating of mince pies on Christmas Day.

recipe used by kind permission of Hazel Whyte


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