Bentley's mince pies
Makes 12 regular or 24 mini mince pies
Mix all mincemeat ingredients except for the brandy and gently heat until the suet has melted.
Stir in the brandy and pack into sterilised jars. Leave for as long as possible to mature.
Preheat the oven to 180C/ Gas 4.
For the pastry, cream together the butter and sugar then gently beat in the eggs one at a time.
Mix in the flour until it forms into a ball of dough.
Wrap in cling film and chill for half an hour in the fridge.
Roll the pastry out to 3mm thickness, and using a round cutter cut out circles slightly bigger than the circumference of the tin holes.
Press the rounds into each hole, fill with mincemeat and cut more rounds slightly smaller than the hole for the tops. Alternatively, cut out festive shapes to go on top such as stars.
Brush the tops with egg yolk and sprinkle with demerara sugar.
Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden-brown.
Cool for as long as you can resist and dust with icing sugar.
For the mincemeat
400 grams dried mixed fruit
(currants, raisins, candied peel)
175 grams beef suet
225 grams brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons mixed spice
1 lemon (juice and zest)
1 orange (juice and zest)
1 quince or apple (grated)
4 tablespoons brandy or whiskey (Irish of course)
For the pastry
125 grams plain flour
30 grams sugar
55 grams unsalted butter