Mincemeat Pies

Christmas just would not be the same without a few mincemeat pies, although you will have to make more than a few if you use home-made mincemeat! Serve the pies with or without cream.

1 to

12 lb. mincemeat

3 tablespoons milk

2 tablespoons sugar

12 oz. flour

2 teaspoon salt

3 oz. butter

3 oz. vegetable fat

2 to

3 tablespoons cold water

First make the pastry. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and vegetable fat and cut them into small pieces with a table knife. With your fingertips, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

Add

2 tablespoons of water and, with the knife, mix it into the flour mixture. With your hands, mix and knead the dough until it is smooth. Add more water if the dough is too dry. Pat the dough into a ball, wrap it in greaseproof or waxed paper and put it in the refrigerator to chill for

30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 400 F (Gas Mark 6, 200°C).

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide it into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the larger piece to a circle about

½ inch thick. Using a lightly floured

3-inch pastry cutter, cut out circles of the dough. Collect up the trimmings and roll out again. Cut out more circles until you have sixteen. Line sixteen patty tins with the dough circles.

Place

1 teaspoon of mincemeat in each lined patty tin and dampen the edges.

Roll out the remaining dough to a circle about 3-inch thick. Using a 22-inch pastry cutter, cut out circles of dough.

Collect up the trimmings and roll them out again. Cut out more circles until you have sixteen.

Place the smaller circles of dough on top of the mincemeat and seal the edges by gently pressing them together.

Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of the pies with the milk.

Place the patty tins in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Remove the tins from the oven and allow the pies to cool for 3 minutes.

With the spoon lift the mincemeat pies out of the tins and place them on a heated serving dish. Sprinkle the sugar over the tops of the pies and serve.

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