Jamie Oliver's Christmas Mince Pies

A rich and tangy family favourite


Preheat your oven to 180C/gas 4. Grease a shallow cupcake tray with the butter and set aside. Sprinkle a little flour onto a clean surface and your rolling pin. Roll half the pastry out until it's about as thick as a pound coin.

Carefully cut out 12 circles with a pastry cutter or a clean glass tumbler and lay them in the tart hollows on your baking tray. Put the tray in the fridge to chill for half an hour.

Spoon the mincemeat into a mixing bowl and break up with a spoon. Pour in the brandy, moussesherry or orange juice. Add the apple, ginger, dried fruits and mixed spice and mix well.

Roll out the rest of your pastry and, using a smaller cutter or tumbler than before, cut out another 12 circles. These will be the lids for your pies. If you want, knead the pastry trimmings together briefly, roll out and cut out shapes to place on top of your mince pies - stars and Christmas trees are great. Ask your kids to help, they'll love doing it. If you need to, draw the shape on a piece of paper, cut it out, pop it on top of the pastry and use it to cut round.

Take the pastry bases out of the fridge and fill them just over half full with mincemeat. Smooth the filling out to the edges. Beat the egg and milk together and brush over the top edge of the pastry. Lay the pastry lids over the top. Crimp the edges with your thumb and forefinger so the lids stick to the bases, and top each pie with a cut-out shape.

If you like, brush once more with the egg wash and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until the pastry is cooked through and golden on top. Dust with icing sugar before serving.

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