Makes 12 or so and takes about 45 minutes
Christmas in Britain would not be the same without these. Countless millions are sold and consumed every year, but it is so easy to make your own. By using self raising flour the pies are light and soft. Adding the lemon to the flour introduces an extra flavour to the mincemeat. Fresh from the oven and served with cream – pure decadence.
200 gm/7 oz/2 cups self-raising flour (or plain flour with baking powder added)
100 gm/3 1/2 oz/1 cup butter out of the fridge, cut into small cubes
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 lemon finely grated zest and juice
250 gm/8 1/2 oz/2 1/2 cups mincemeat
Icing sugar for dusting
1 Sift the flour into a mixing bowl, add the butter and together until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
2 Stir in the sugar and lemon zest, then using a round bladed knife stir in the lemon juice and a little cold water, until the mixture comes together.
3 Work the dough gently into a ball and then roll out to about 3 mm/ 1/8 inch thick. Stamp out 9 cm/ 3 1/2 inch diameter rounds and line a greased 12 hole baking tin.
4 Spoon a heaped teaspoon of mincemeat into each case.
5 Roll out the remaining pastry and stamp out stars and place them centrally on each case
6 Bake in a pre-heated oven set to 200 C/400 F/Gas 6/moderate hot oven, for 12 to 15 minutes until the pastry is golden.
7 Cool in the tin for a few minutes and then cool on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar
8 At stage 5 you could freeze them for later baking. Just put them in the freezer, in the baking tins and when frozen remove them and put into bags. Bake in a hot oven straight from the freezer for about 18 minutes