I know it's easy to pop to Tesco and pick up a box of Mr Kipling's mince pies, but there's nothing like making your own. I love that Christmassy smell of rich mincemeat and freshly baked pastry eminating from the kitchen and because they're so easy to make the kids can give you a hand too!
Here's thebestof Lowestoft's special recipe to try... and if you want a few people to carry out a taste test on them, we're always more than happy to oblige!
350g/12oz high quality mincemeat,
200g/7oz plain flour, sifted
40g/1½oz golden caster sugar
75g/2¾oz ground almonds
125g/4½oz unsalted butter, diced
1 large free-range egg, beaten
milk, to glaze
Lightly butter a 12-hole pie or patty tin. Tip the mincemeat into a bowl and stir so that the liquid is evenly distributed.
Place the flour, sugar, almonds and butter in a food processor and process briefly until resembling breadcrumbs, then slowly add the egg through the feeder tube. (Or rub the butter into the dry ingredients by hand and stir in the egg if you're like me and don't own a food processor.)
Bring the mixture together with your hands, wrap in clingfilm and chill for an hour or so. Thinly roll out the pastry on a floured surface. Cut out 12 circles with a fluted pastry cutter, large enough to fill the base of the prepared tin. Press gently into each hole, then fill with the mincemeat.
Cut out another 12 slightly smaller discs and use to cover the mincemeat. Press the edges together to seal. Make a small slit in the top of each, then brush lightly with milk. Chill for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
Bake the pies for 20 minutes until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack and serve warm (particularly lovely with a glass of mulled wine!)
I love my mince pies lightly dusted with icing sugar and if you're feeling 'arty' cut out some holly leaves and stars to decorate.