225g (8oz) plain flour
175g (6oz) butter, chilled and cut into 1cm (1/2in) approx. cubes
1 dessertspoon icing sugar, sieved
1 pinch of salt
A little-beaten egg or egg yolk and water to bind
450g (1lb) mincemeat
- Sieve the flour into a bowl. Toss the butter into the flour and rub it in with your fingertips.
- Add the icing sugar and a pinch of salt.
- Mix with a fork as you gradually add in the beaten egg (do this bit by bit because you may not need all the egg), then use your hand to bring the pastry together into a ball: it should not be wet or sticky.
- Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.
- Roll out the pastry until it’s quite thin – about 3mm (1/8in).
- Stamp out into rounds 7.5cm (3in) in diameter and line shallow bun tins with the discs.
- Put a good teaspoonful of mincemeat into each tin, dampen the edges with water and put another round on top.
- Brush with egg wash and decorate with pastry leaves and holly berries etc.
- Bake the mince pies in the preheated oven for 20 minutes approx. Allow them to cool slightly, then dredge with icing or caster sugar.
- These are particularly lovely served with a dollop of Irish whiskey cream.
A perfect warming match is rich, deep red late bottle vintage Port. Try: Delta Force, LBV, Port: £16.99 per bottle