Little mince pies are a universal favourite at Christmas time. We make them by the dozen to offer when friends drop in over the festive season. They store and keep well and some say are improved by gently heating in the oven before serving. You can make this recipe ahead of time, then freeze the pies and reheat as required.
- 2 cups plain flour
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- 185 g unsalted butter, chopped
- ¼ cup caster sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1-2 tbsp lemon juice or iced water
- 1 cup fruit mincemeat (see note)
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten
- icing sugar, to dust (optional)
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time 30 minutes
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Grease 2 x 12-hole small patty pans.
Make the pastry by sifting the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Rub in the butter using fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar. Add the egg yolks and enough lemon juice or water to bring the ingredients together to form a dough.
Knead the dough gently on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Halve, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Roll out one of the pastry parcels between 2 sheets of baking paper until 3–5mm thick. Using a 6.5cm round cutter, cut out 12 rounds. Place the rounds into the prepared pans. Spoon 2 teaspoons fruit mince into each. Re-knead the scraps and chill before rolling out again and using to line pans. Repeat with remaining dough, reserving some pastry for decorating the tops.
Re-roll scraps of pastry and cut into small stars. Top each pie with a star. Brush with egg white. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden. Leave to cool completely in the pans. Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with a little icing sugar, if you like.
• The amount of fruit mincemeat used and number of pies made will vary.
Recipe from Margaret Fulton Christmas by Margaret Fulton, with photographs by Mark Roper. Published by Hardie Grant Books.