Tonight I finished off my mince pies. they made the kitchen smell all Christmasy, mincemeat cooking can do that. The thing that makes these mince pies so luxurious is the dollop of cream cheese inside with the mince - trust me it really works.
This recipe is from Josceline Dimbleby's Christmas Book which is well used!
250g(8oz) full fat cream cheese (Philadelphia)
50g(2oz) caster sugar
500g(1lb) Orange pastry
butter for greasing
milk to glaze
caster or icing sugar to decorate
Put cream cheese and caster sugar in a bowl and beat until smooth and creamy
Knead pastry lightly and roll out (rather more thickly than usual)
Using a 3 inch pastry cutter cut 24 rounds, re-rolling as necessary
Line greased patty tins with the rounds
Fill with spoonfuls of mincemeat and a good dollop of cream cheese mixture - smooth the top
Roll out the remaining pastry and with a smaller 2 inch cutter cut out 24 round tops
Moisten the underside of the tops and place on the filled pies
Press lightly together and make a small slit in the top of each pie
Brush the tops with cold milk and bake in the centre of the oven preheated to Gas Mark 7/220C/425F for 15 -20 minutes until light golden brown.
The pastry is so crumbly that you need to let them cool in the tins before removing with a round bladed knife.