In case you were wondering, yes, this is what you make with your homemade mincemeat. Of course, you can make this recipe immensely convenient by using store-bought mincemeat and pie dough. (Or just buy your pies ready made. Whatever.)
These pies are sweet, fruity, alcoholic, and encased in a rich buttery crust. That’s why they’re so small – so you can fool yourself into thinking you’re not committing dietary suicide when you down more than a few in quick succession. Or just have one or two like everyone other person with a modicum of restraint.
Tools-wise, you will need a 24 mini-muffin tin, a 7-cm round cutter (fluted if you want fancy ridged edges), and a star cutter about 4cm in diameter.
Makes 24 star-topped mini mince pies
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 200°C (400°F).
Step 2: Portion out a quarter of your pie dough and save that in the refrigerator for the star tops. Roll out the larger portion of dough till it’s about 1/8-inch thick.
Have a friend document the process so your camera doesn’t wind up covered in flour (like mine so often does).
Step 3: Cut out the round bases and carefully press each round into the cavities of the mini muffin tin. Fill each pie case with the homemade mincemeat. If your mincemeat is fridge-cold and jammy, just microwave it for a minute to loosen up the mixture.
If you have willing friends, you can form an assembly line. Assign each one to a different task, i.e, one rolls and cuts out the dough, one pushes it into the muffin tin, and one fills the pie case.
You should have just enough dough to fill the entire tin. If you do run out, just pinch some dough from the reserve quarter you stashed in the refrigerator. (You won’t need much for the pie tops.)
Step 4: Roll out the quarter portion of pie dough as thinly as before and cut out star shapes.
Press the stars firmly onto the pies.
Step 5: Beat the egg in a bowl and lightly brush the tops of the pies with it. Sprinkle on some demerara sugar (coarse brown sugar), if you have it, for some added crunch and shine. Bake the pies for 25 minutes.
Let the pies cool for about 5 minutes, then remove them from the tin to finish cooling on a rack.
These pies freeze incredibly well. Just follow the recipe right up to point before you brush on the beaten egg and bake the pies. Pop the entire tin into the freezer. In a couple of hours, the pies will be frozen solid. Pop them out from the tin and store them in the freezer in a sealed plastic bag.
When you’re ready to bake the pies, just pop them back into the tin, egg-wash the tops, and bake in a preheated oven as per the recipe, adding an extra 10 minutes to the baking time.
These pies make excellent food gifts too because they keep so well. Just fill up a nice box with them and top it off with a ribbon. I think anyone would be more than happy to receive a nice box full of these beautiful mini pies for Christmas. (Unless they’re on a diet. Whatever.)