• Traditional mince pies
You’ll need
For the mincemeat:
    • 250g golden sultanas
    • 250g natural glace cherries, halved
    • 250g raisins
    • 100g mixed peel
    • 125g unsalted butter
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
    • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
    • Finely grated zest of one orange and one lemon
    • 250g dark muscovado sugar
    • 250ml amaretto liqueur
For the pies:
    • butter, for greasin
    • 450g shortcrust pastr
    • Plain flour, for dustin
    • 250g ready-made or homemade puff pastr
    • 1 egg, lightly beate
    • 15g light muscovado sugar
    1. Put all the dried fruit and spices into a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Place the grated zest, sugar and amaretto in a small saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved – do not let it boil. Pour over the mixed fruit and stir gently, without breaking up the fruits.

    2. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave to infuse for 48 hours. Pack the mincemeat into sterilized jars and seal. Store in a cool dark place for a couple of weeks to allow the flavours to mature.

    3. When you are ready to make the mince pies, preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Grease 6 x individual 10cm (4in) diameter loose-bottomed tartlet tins.

    4. Roll out the shortcrust pastry thinly on a lightly floured surface and use to line the tins. Generously fill the pastry cases with the mincemeat (this will use approximately 500g). Roll out the puff pastry thinly on a lightly floured surface and brush it with the beaten egg.

    5. Using a star-shaped cutter, cut out 6 star shapes, or any shape you like, to cover the tart and place them on top of the mincemeat. Sprinkle with the light muscovado sugar.

    6. Bake in the oven for 25–30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and the stars have all puffed up. Serve warm with some creme fraiche drizzled with amaretto and sprinkled with roasted flaked almonds … yum yum!