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
- 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
- Place the flour and butter in a bowl and rub together to a crumb consistency. Add the sugar and the egg, and mix together.
- 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.
- Scoop the mincemeat into a bowl and add the apple and lemon zest. Heat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4.
- Roll out the pastry to 3mm thick. Using a 10cm round cutter, cut out 16 bases and place them into muffin trays.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
TIP- Serve these warm with a little brandy butter for an extra treat