Whether you are organised enough to make your own pastry and mincemeat or use ready-made, these bite-sized morsels are perfect with a cup of coffee.
350g - 400g shortcrust pastry (ready made is ideal here)
200g - 250g mincemeat (about half a standard sized jar)
An egg, beaten with a little milk
Icing sugar, for dusting
A 12 hole mini muffin tray - the AGA Portmerion mini muffin tray is ideal.
A pastry brush and a small clean paintbrush are handy
1. First make the pastry cases by rolling out the pastry if needed and cutting 7cm circles using a cutter. Essential tip: dust both sides of the pastry circles to help the mini pies come easily out of the tray and press the centre gently between your fingers to start to shape them to fit the muffin tray hole. There’s no need to grease the tray but make sure the pastry is well floured.
2. Press the pastry gently into the muffin tray hole until it is level with the top. Repeat for all 12 holes, prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork and chill in the fridge or freezer for 5 - 10 mins.
3. To make the top of the pies, roll out the leftover pastry and cut 6 circles to fit the tops, then cut out star shapes in these circles. Cover 6 of the pies with the circles with cut out stars and use the stars themselves for the rest. Brush both the circles and star tops with the beaten egg and set aside while you fill the tarts.
4. To fill, put a teaspoon of mincemeat in each mini muffin hole, avoiding the temptation to fill them too full. Brush the rim of the pastry with water - use a small paint brush for this if you have one. Place a top on each pie and press the edges together.
5. Bake in the AGA roasting oven on the grid shelf on the floor (or conventional oven at 200C) for 15 mins or so until the pastry is cooked and the pies are nicely coloured on top.
6. Once cooked, cool for a minute or two in the tray then carefully transfer to a cooling rack. To serve, dust the tops with icing sugar and serve either warm or at room temperature.
These mini mince pies freeze will for up to 3 months and can be stored in an airtight container for a week or two.