In my family, we divvy up the Christmas tasks; someone does the turkey, someone does the crackers – and somehow we always end up doing the mince pies, I think so my mother can eat her way through a good sample before anyone else gets to them.  For years I’ve been putting on nine lessons and carols and rolling out pastry for mince pies; I’ve made them with the proper equipment some years, and some years have used a wine bottle and glass as rolling pin and cutter respectively.

Mince pies

12 oz  plain flour
8 oz butter
3 oz ground almonds
3oz caster sugar
2 egg yolks
cold water

Mix the flour and butter together until you have a breadcrumbs style mixture. Add the almonds and sugar. Add the egg yolks and enough cold water to make a dough – you won’t need very much. Chill for a bit in the fridge (or outside if your fridge is too full of festive goodies). Roll out and cut into circular shapes with a cutter (or a wine glass works too), in two sizes. Fill with mincemeat! Cover with the smaller sized pastry lids, brush with a little milk and a little sugar, then bake for 25-30 minutes at gas 6, 200 degrees C.

Happy Christmas!

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