It’s never truly Christmas unless there are mince pies – these mini ones from Gareth Mullins, head chef at The Marker Hotel, are light enough to allow room for other festive treats

Makes 12-15

Ingredients

  • 1 large jar of good quality mincemeat, about 600g
  • 1 apple, finely chopped
  • 100g flaked almonds
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • Icing sugar, for dusting

For the pastry

  • 375g plain flour
  • 260g unsalted butter, softened
  • 125g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 beaten egg, for glazing

Method

  1. Place the flour and butter in a bowl and rub together to a crumb consistency. Add the sugar and the egg, and mix together.
  2. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the pastry comes together, but be careful not to over mix. Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill for 30 mins.
  3. Scoop the mincemeat into a bowl and add the apple and lemon zest. Heat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4.
  4. Roll out the pastry to 3mm thick. Using a 10cm round cutter, cut out 16 bases and place them into muffin trays.
  5. Put 1 1/2 tablespoons of mincemeat mixture into each one and sprinkle with flaked almonds. Brush the edge of each pie with a little beaten egg.
  6. Re-roll out the pastry to cut 7cm lids and press them on top to seal. Glaze with the rest of the egg, sprinkle with caster sugar and a little more of the flaked almonds, then make a small cut in the tops.
  7. Bake the mince pies for 15-20 mins until golden brown. Leave to cool before releasing them from the muffin trays and generously dusting with icing sugar.

TIPServe these warm with a little brandy butter for an extra treat