Baking – THE FASTEST EVER MINCE PIES

Christmas is fast approaching and so much to do. These mince pies are quick and easy and can be left to the last minute. To save you time, you can freeze them and re-heat in a hot oven straight from the freezer.

INGREDIENTS
411g jar good quality mincemeat
375g pack fresh ready-rolled puff pastry
A little milk
42 whole blanched almonds
42 fresh cranberries
Golden caster sugar, to dust
Icing sugar, to serve

METHOD
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 7, 425°F (220°C).
Begin by unrolling the packet of pastry, leaving it on the cellophane then just cut out 28 x 2 inch (5 cm) discs and arrange them on the baking tray. Next, using a 1½ in (4 cm) cutter, press this into the centre of each disc, making an incision to just three-quarters of the way into the pastry (but be careful not to go right through).
Now brush the edge of each disc with a little milk then pile about a teaspoonful of mincemeat into the centre of each one. Arrange 3 almonds on half of the mince pies and 3 cranberries on the rest, then dust the nuts and cranberries with a little caster sugar.
Bake the mince pies on a high shelf of the oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden then remove them to a wire cooling tray.
Serve warm, dusted with icing sugar.
Note: If freezing the pies, allow them to cool then transfer to a plastic freezer box (layered with baking parchment). To re-heat, cook from frozen in an oven pre-heated to gas mark 7, 425°F (220°C) for 4-5 minutes. Then dust with icing sugar.net

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