Mince Pies

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a mince pie or two. This recipe makes six deep pies, so will fit in a Hungry Penguin oven, but can easily be increased if you have lots of people to feed. We've used a plain pastry because the mincemeat and the sugar sprinkled on the top make them sweet enough for us, but there are lots of recipes around for sweet shortcrust if you prefer that.

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175g plain flour

38g vegetable shortening, cubed

38g cold butter, cubed

Pinch of salt

Cold water

Mincemeat (we have a recipe for homemade mincemeat on the website)

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  1. 1) Mix the flour and the salt in a bowl and add the cubed butter and shortening.
  2. 2) Rub the fat into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. 3) If you have a food processor, put the flour and fat in and pulse till fine, then tip out into a bowl.
  4. 4) Add cold water a tablespoonful at a time and mix gently with your hands, bringing it together until it forms a soft ball. Don't add too much water.
  5. 5) Pop it in a storage container cover and put in the fridge for about half an hour.
  6. 6) Lightly flour the work surface and rolling pin. Shape the pastry into a flat round and roll it out thinly to about 3mm deep.
  7. 7) Cut out six bases and six lids using fluted cutters. If you are making deep pies you will need the bases to be bigger than normal, so rather than one size larger than the lids, go for two sizes larger.
  8. 8) Gently push the bases into a greased muffin tin (for deep pies) or patty tins and prick with a fork.
  9. 9) Fill with the mincemeat.
  10. 10) Brush the edges with milk and put on the lids, pressing gently to seal around the sides.
  11. 11) Using a sharp knife, cut a little cross in the top of each pie to let out the steam.
  12. 12) Brush the tops with milk, sprinkle with caster sugar and top with a couple of pieces of sliced almonds.
  13. 13) Cook in a hot oven (200-220 degrees) for around 15 minutes, keeping watch so they don't burn. If you have a single oven you might want to raise the bottom of the tin off the trivet with baking beans on a baking tray to stop it burning.
  14. 14) Once the pastry is turning a satisfying golden brown, remove from the oven and allow them to rest for five minutes to firm up the pastry.
  15. 15) Remove from the tins and serve with cream, brandy butter or custard.