Add the caster sugar (80g) and ground almonds (150g).
Cut the butter (250g) into cubes and add to the bowl.
Rub the butter into the dry ingredients until it form breadcrumbs - I find that it's easier to do this if you have cold hands as this helps to keep the butter firmer.
Once your mixture is the consistency of breadcrumbs, in a separate bowl, beat the egg (2 eggs) and the add it into the mixture.
Mix the egg into the mixture and then bring the mixture together with your hands - if the mixture is a bit dry and crumbly, knead it a few times until it comes together. Be careful not to over-knead the pastry as this may make it less tender to eat.
Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill for about half an hour.
Lightly grease your muffin tins with butter.
Make the pies
Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out to your desired thickness - I prefer not to make the pastry too thin as I like a generous amount of mincemeat filling and keeping the pastry a little thicker gives the right balance or pastry and filling. I sometimes have trouble with pastry sticking, so I cheat and put the pastry between two sheets of cling film before rolling. The cling film is then easily peeled off. I also prefer not to roll out all of the pastry in one go. I roll out enough for a few circles, keeping the rest in the fridge until I'm ready to use it.
Cut out 14 large circles and gentle press each pastry circle into a hole in your muffin tin. I find it easiest to lay the circle of pastry flat on the tin and the gently push down the centre. I then gently push the bottom to the edges of the tin. If you accidentally make a hole you can use a small amount of spare pastry to patch the hole. just make sure to seal the edges so that the filling doesn't leak out.
Fill each pie with a generous tablespoon of mincemeat. Don't fill each pie completely to the top as you need to leave space to add a lid.
Cut out 14 smaller circles and place onto the top of each pie. Gently press around the edges to seal the lid to the base of the pie
Using a sharp knife, cut a slit in the top of each pie
Brush the top of each pie with a little milk
Cover the pies with cling film and chill for about 30 minutes
Preheat the oven to 200ºC/180ºC fan
Bakes the pies for 20 minutes, until the pastry is a golden brown colour.
Once cooked, leave to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes and then remove and allow to cool on a wire rack (or, even better, eat them still warm from the oven)
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