This moreish, classic festive treat is not only packed with rich, fruity, nutty flavours, but it is also quick to make and has the added bonus of being gluten-free! Add an optional splash of brandy for a luxurious, warming touch.
- For the pastry, put the butter and the flour in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the sugar, half the clementine zest, the almond extract and 2 tbsp of cold water, then mix until the mixture forms a smooth ball (add a little more water if needed).
- Wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. In a bowl, mix the mincemeat with the remaining zest, almonds, brandy (if using) and dried fruit. Set aside. Roll out the pastry to about 2-3mm (1/8 in) thick. Cut out 12 x 7-8cm (3-31⁄2in) rounds using a fluted cutter. Press into a greased 12-hole pie tin, then pierce the base of each round with a fork. 4 Put 1 tbsp of mincemeat into each hole.
- Cut out pastry stars to make a lid for the pies. Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Dust with icing sugar, to serve.
Freezing and defrosting guidelines
Bake according to the recipe but stop before adding decoration or icing. Allow to cool completely. Wrap well in clingfilm and tin foil (to prevent freezer burn) and freeze for up to 3 months.
Loosen the tin foil and clingfilm but leave to defrost in packaging at room temperature for several hours before serving. If you wish to serve the baked goods warm, place them on a baking sheet for 10 minutes in a moderate oven.
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