Mince Pies de Luxe

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Mince pies can be rather dry but here the mixture of the spicy mincemeat with smooth cream cheese makes them a real luxury.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz (200 g) full cream cheese
  • 2 oz (50 g) caster sugar
  • 1 lb (400 g) orange pastry
  • 1-1¼ lb (400-500 g) mincemeat
  • a spot of milk
  • caster or icing sugar for dusting

Method

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, 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.