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It really wouldn’t be Christmas without being offered a mince pie, would it? I decided to do a bit of reinventing on the classic mince pie, so in this recipe I’m using a combination of puff and filo pastry, both of which you can buy ready-made in the shops for extra convenience.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400ºF/gas 6. Scoop the mincemeat into a mixing bowl and mix in the dried berries, the clementine zest and the sherry or brandy.
Dust a clean work surface with flour and roll out the puff pastry into a big rectangle about 20cm x 40cm and the thickness of a pound coin. Thinly spread the mincemeat over the pastry, leaving a 1cm gap around the edges. Tightly roll up the pastry, lengthways, like a Swiss roll, place it on a floured tray, and pop in the fridge to firm up.
Take two cupcake trays (for 12 cupcakes each) and butter each one lightly with the melted butter. Place one layer of filo pastry over the tray (you may need more than one sheet to cover each tray depending on the size of the sheets) and ease the pastry into each hole. Brush with the melted butter, then cover with a second layer of filo pastry. Brush with butter again.
Take the puff pastry roll out of the fridge and, with a sharp knife, cut it into 24 slices. Place each slice, flat-side down, into a filo-lined hole. Brush with the egg and sprinkle a few flaked almonds on top of each little pie, then pop both trays in the oven for about 25 minutes, until cooked and golden brown.
Leave to cool, then crack the individual pies out of the trays. Dust with a little icing sugar before serving.
PS You can freeze the cooked, cooled mince pies in their trays (just wrap the lot in cling film) or in a plastic container. Just reheat them in a hot oven straight from the freezer.
Traditionally shortcrust pastry. However if you prefer the flakiness of puff pastry then this works beautifully well in mince pie recipes, too. To make gluten-free mince pies, simply switch in gluten-free plain flour when you make the pastry from scratch.