Christmas isn’t complete without mince pies.
The filling for the pies needs to be made a few weeks in advance. I combine two or three handfuls of raisins with some chopped peel and some chopped almonds. I add the juice and zest of a clementine and a lemon, a spoon of brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, mixed spice and a slug or two of brandy. I pack it into a jar, close the lid and keep in the fridge till needed. On the day I make the pies, I add half a finely chopped apple to the mixture.
I make the shortcrust pastry in the Magimix with 200 gm flour, a pinch of salt and 100 gm butter, adding enough cold water until I get a ball of pastry, which rests 30 minutes in the fridge. I roll it out and cut 12 rounds with a biscuit cutter to line a buttered muffin tin. I put a teaspoon of filling in each case and place a cut-out star of pastry on top. I brush the stars with milk and sprinkle a little caster sugar on top. They cook in the oven at 180°C for 15 to 20 minutes.
I freeze them and take out on Christmas morning to re-warm after lunch. Brandy butter goes well with the pies, as does a dollop of whipped cream.