30 Minute Mince Pies

A warm mince pie and a hot chocolate, heaven on a cold night…
• 225g (8oz) plain flour, plus extra for rolling out
• 125g (4oz) chilled unsalted butter, diced
• 100g (3½oz) cream cheese
• 1 egg yolk
• Finely grated zest of 1 orange
• 410g jar mincemeat
• 2tbsp brandy
• 25g (1oz) pecan nuts, chopped
• 1 whole egg, beaten, to glaze

1 Put the flour in a food processor. Add the butter, cream cheese, egg yolk and orange zest, and whiz until the mixture just comes together.

2 Tip into a large bowl and bring together with your hands. Shape into a ball, wrap in cling film and put in the freezer for 5min.

3 Meanwhile, mix together the mince meat, brandy and pecan nuts in a bowl.

4 Preheat the oven to 220ºC (200ºC fan), gas mark 7. Cut off about a third of the pastry and set aside. Roll out the remainder on a floured board or work surface to 5mm (¼in) thickness and stamp out circles with a 6.5cm (2½in) round cutter to make 24 rounds, re-rolling as necessary.

5 Use the circles to line two 12-hole patty tins. Roll out the reserved pastry ad use a
5cm (2in) star cutter to stamp out 24 stars.

6 Put 1tsp mincemeat mixture into each pastry case, and then top with a star. Repeat to make 24 pies. Brush tops with beaten egg, then bake for 12-15min until golden.

7 Leave to cool on a rack. They’ll keep in an airtight container for up to four days. Serve warm or cold, dusted generously with icing sugar and with a bowl of softly whipped cream alongside.