Very quick mince pies – perfect for Christmas Eve

I am a terrible girlfriend. Unbelievably so. When I first moved in with D a few weeks ago I made a grand promise of doing him a homemade Christmas cake as he is extremely partial to one. November rolled on and I kept being sidetracked. By mid December I had purchased (an admittedly rather nice) one from Lidl during a rather impractical Christmas shop. The truth is the spiced fruity baking traditionally associated with the festive period isn’t something I particularly enjoy. However, I do love the smell of it and I was happily sniffing the air. Plus they were pretty popular with D, I made them on a Friday evening and by the next afternoon 4 were gone. I also made a batch for my family (the mincemeat is enough for 2 batches made with 1 pack of pastry) and they were pretty fond of them too.

To make these you will need

1 pack pastry (makes 18 – 24 depending on your pastry cutter)

200g icing sugar

Cake cases

For the quick mincemeat (this makes 2 batches so you can keep some back in the fridge)

250g mixed fruit (including mixed peel)

4 tbsp dark or spiced rum

50g pecan nuts or walnuts (chopped finely)

50g butter

100g Demerara sugar

a pinch ground cinnamon

a pinch ground allspice

the zest of 1 orange

a peeled and grated Granny Smith Apple

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Put your dry mincemeat ingredients in a bowl. Heat the rum in a small pan until it simmers. Remove from the heat then add the butter and use the residual heat to melt. Return to the heat again briefly so that it simmers again. Pour over your dry ingredients and mix well.

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I bought ready rolled out dough (I was feeling lazy) but if not roll out your dough and cut out circles using a large pastry cutter. If you have dough left over smush it back together and roll out again to make more circles.

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Place the circles in a lined cupcake tins (I didn’t line mine at first then had to rescue them) and prick with a fork in the middle so it doesn’t puff up as much.

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Fill each circle with a teaspoon of mincemeat. Then bake in the oven for approx 20 minutes (until the pastry is golden brown).

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While the pies are cooling combine the icing sugar with water (add a tiny bit at a time) and ice your mince pies.

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Serve these bad boys with a cup of tea, coffee or a glass of mulled wine. Stored in an airtight container and they will keep a good number of days.

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Merry Christmas to all of my lovely readers. I hope you have a wonderful festive period and get everything you wish for xxx

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