First put the cream cheese and the 2 oz caster sugar into a bowl and beat until smooth. Knead the pastry lightly and roll out rather more thickly than usual. Using a 3 in. (7 cm) fluted pastry cutter, cut out 24 rounds, re-rolling the pastry as necessary, and line greased patty tins with the rounds. Fill to about half their depth with mincemeat.
Then put a teaspoonful of the beaten cream cheese mixture on top of the mincemeat and smooth over. Roll out the remaining pastry and with a smaller fluted cutter, 2¼ in. (5 cm), cut out another 24 rounds. Moisten the underside of the rounds and place them on top of the filled pies. Press the edges lightly together and make a small slit in the top of each pie. Brush with cold milk and bake in the centre of the oven, preheated to Gas Mark 7/425°F/220°C for 15-20 minutes until light golden brown. The pastry is so deliciously crumbly that it is best to let these mince pies cool down before gently easing them from the tins with a round-bladed knife.
Before serving either warm - which of course is best - or cold, sprinkle them generously with caster or icing sugar.