Fruit mince pies
( SERVES 9 )
My sister believes our mother's fruit mince tarts are a family heirloom recipe - one that, it has to be said, she has never made herself. My mother uses a pastry recipe from an old cookbook that promotes the use of margarine, an ingredient I cannot abide. You could use the lard pastry recipe as above, or this shortcrust recipe. You will need a miniature tart tray, with indents about 5cm in diameter and 2cm deep.
- Set the oven to 200C. Using the beater on an electric mixer, rub the butter into the flour until it looks like coarse breadcrumbs.
- Add the egg yolks and just enough water to bring together a smooth dough in a firm ball.
- Cut the dough in half, then roll out one half on a floured board and set the other aside.
- Using a 7cm biscuit cutter, cut out 18 circles of pastry and place them in the tart tins, smoothing up the sides so that the pastry stands above the rim.
- Fill each one with a generous spoonful of mincemeat, roll out the remaining pastry and cut a further 18 circles.
- Dampen each edge with a little water and press together firmly to seal. Make a small cut in the top of each pie and bake for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow them to cool in the tins before gently prising them out with the point of a sharp knife. Dust with icing sugar and serve.