Make the mincemeat by mixing all the
ingredients together in a large bowl. Set
aside for 30 minutes so the fruit absorbs some of the liquid. Make the pastry in a
large bowl or food processor by blending
the butter into the flour until the mixture
resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar
and orange zest and then 2 tbsp water.
Bring the mixture together with your hands,
adding a few more drops of water if it feels
a little dry. Preheat the oven to fan 160C/
conventional 180C/gas 4.
Roll out half the pastry (keep the other
half wrapped in the fridge) on a lightly
floured surface. You want the pastry to be
very thin, so it is crisp when cooked. Cut
out 12 circles of pastry with a plain 6cm
cutter (you will need to re-roll the pastry a
couple of times) and use to line a 12-hole,
non-stick mini muffin tin. It is quite a soft
pastry, so any little gaps that form as you
are lining the holes can easily be patched
up. Chill while you make the topping.
In a small bowl, make the crumble
topping by rubbing the butter into the flour
until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
Stir in the sugar and almonds. With a
teaspoon, fill each pastry case with
mincemeat, gently pressing it down to
leave room for the topping. Sprinkle the
topping over each pie, place the tin on
a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes.
Leave the pies to cool in the tin before
taking them out carefully. They are fragile
when hot, so use a small knife to help lift
them out. Unless you have two mini muffin
tins, repeat the process with the second
batch of pastry, filling and topping. Eat the mini mince pies warm or cold, lightly
dusted with icing sugar.
Recipe from Good Food Vegetarian Christmas magazine, December 2006