Roll out a little over half the pastry on a flour-dusted surface to about the thickness of a £1 coin. Stamp out circles of pastry to line the holes of a 12-hole bun tin – an 8cm cutter should be about right. Re-roll the trimmings until all 12 holes are lined.
Spoon a little mincemeat into each, then roll out the remaining pastry with a little more flour. Use a 6cm fluted or plain round cutter to cut out 12 lids. Top the mincemeat with the pastry lids, push around the edges to seal, then poke 1-2 small holes into each to allow steam to escape. Wrap the whole tray well in cling film. Will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To cook, heat oven to 200C/180C fan/ gas 6. Remove the mince pies from the freezer and brush the top of each with a little milk. Bake for 20-22 mins or until the pastry is golden and crisp and the filling piping hot.
Crunchy marzipan mince pies
Coarsely grate 100g block marzipan, then toss through 50g toasted flaked almonds. Sprinkle over the mincemeatfilled pies, then freeze and bake from frozen as directed, above.
Festive mince pies
Roll out the pastry for lids, sprinkle with 2 tbsp granulated sugar and pat or re-roll into pastry slightly to stick. Use a small (3-4cm) star, holly or heart cutter, or a mixture, to stamp out 12 shapes. Top each pie with one, then freeze and bake from frozen as directed, above.
Cinnamon crumble mince pies
In a small bowl, rub together 50g cubed butter, 7 tbsp plain flour, 5 tbsp demerara sugar and 1½ tsp ground cinnamon. Sprinkle over the mincemeat-filled pies, then freeze and bake from frozen as directed, above. Save the pastry you don’t use for lids for a second batch of mince pies.