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Prue Leith’s Mince Pies

Makes: 12

For the pastry:

170g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

100g butter, cut into cubes

2 tbsp icing sugar, plus extra for dusting

1 medium egg yolk

2 tbsp cold water

1 medium egg, beaten

For the mincemeat:

75g raisins

75g sultanas

75g dried figs, chopped

50g chopped mixed peel

3 pieces stem ginger, finely chopped

50g pecans, chopped

½ tsp mixed spice

2 tbsp whisky

75g soft light brown sugar

50g butter, melted

1 firm pear, grated

For the brandy butter:

125g unsalted butter

125g icing sugar

grated rind of 1/2 orange

3 tbsp brandy

Step 1 – For the pastry, sieve the flour into a bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Step 2 – Mix the egg yolk and cold water together and stir into the flour mixture first with a table knife and then with one hand. It may be necessary to add more water, but the pastry should not be damp.

Step 3 – Divide the pastry into 2 balls, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Step 4 – For the mincemeat, mix the raisins, sultanas, figs, mixed peel, ginger, pecans, mixed spice, whisky, sugar and butter together in a bowl, then fold in the grated pear.

Step 5 – For the brandy butter, cream the unsalted butter and sugar together until very light. Add the orange rind and brandy to flavour fairly strongly. Serve well chilled.

Step 6 – Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Roll out one ball of pastry on a lightly floured surface until 3mm thick. Cut into rounds and use to line a 12 hole mince pie tin.

Step 7 – Fill each ¾ full with mincemeat, then roll out the other half of the pastry and any trimmings and cut into small strips, ½ cm wide. (You will need 108 strips, a little longer than the diameter of the holes in your mince pie tin). Weave 9 strips to create a 5 x 4 lattice the same size as the top of the mince pie. Repeat until you have twelve 5 x 4 lattice.

Step 8 – Dampen the edges of the lined pastry with a little water and top each with a lattice. Press down lightly on the edges to seal, then trim. Brush the tops with beaten egg and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden.

Step 9 – Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.