This recipe came from Minnie Coombe via my mother.
Makes enough for about 100 mince pies.
Mix together in a large bowl (or blend together in a food processor then transfer result in a larger bowl and mix):
6oz Unsalted Butter
zest & juice of lemon
nutmeg, salt to taste (and anything else you feel like)
It is better if you blend in a food processor to break up the pieces and blend the flavors. Ideally you store this in a refrigerator for a few days for the flavors to combine.
We keep making the pastry until we run out of mincemeat or get bored. I think it may have taken 4 to 6 times to make the pastry.1lb flour
Blend the flour, sugar and butter together in a food processor (or you can do it with a pastry knife thing, but this is easier). Then add cold water until the desired consistency of the dough is reached. A couple of tablepoons should be sufficient. You want it to be a little on the crumbly side rather than the sticky side. Like all pastry keep it cool to prevent the butter from melting too much.
At this point we can keep the pastry in the fridge if we are going to make the pies in a day or so or in the freezer for longer.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a muffin pan but with rounded holes rather than square (a regular muffin pan would probably work too) and find a way to cut a circle large enough to completely line the cup portion and another large enough to just cover the top.
Once you have the pastry, roll it out on a floured surface. Ideally you want it 2-3mm thick. Now cut out enough bottoms and tops to fill all the holes in your sheet. Put bottoms in all of the holes. Put a teaspoonfull of mincemeat in each hole (or more if your holes are large, but don;t overdo it or it will bubble out and make a mess, and don't underdo it or the pies will taste dry). Then dip the edges of the tops in:bowl of milk
So that they will stick to the bottoms. Then press a fork into the seam all the way around to make 'crows feet' and seal the top to the bottom. Finally put a little milk on the tops of all of the pies to make them brown nicely.
When you have your completed pan(s) ready put them in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the top is browned. Remove the pies from the oven and move them onto a cooling rack. Then while still hot sprinkle on top of pies:sugar to coat tops
The pies can be stored in a airtight container when cool for a month or so, and for at least a year in the freezer. (We reheat them in the microwave and they turn out alright, but watch out because the middles have a higher water content so will heat up faster than the crust.