Mince Pies

I can’t be doing with all this fuss about cooking for Christmas, so you can imagine I was delighted to find a new approach to making mince pies (let’s face it – they do get to be boring after years and years) which made unrepentant use of ready-made ingredients to come up with a very different result to the usual two slabs of pastry with a dab of mincemeat in between. Take a ready-made puff pastry sheet (from the Supermarket – not “here’s one I made earlier”!), flatten it out on a board and spread it with a generous layer of mincemeat. If you want to add extra flavours like chopped nuts, cranberries, whatever, spread these on too. Roll it up like a swiss roll then cut it into about 1.5 or 2cm slices (this depends on the depth of the bun tin you are going to bake them in – see below). Now get your bun tin out, spread some ready-made filo pastry sheets with melted butter and place them over the bun tin so that they cover its whole surface and overhang its edges. Push the filo pastry down into the bun wells, using up the overhang to help with coverage (the end of a rolling pin is good for this, or a small glass), then lay one of your slices of filled puff pastry into each well. Grate some orange zest all over the top, and brush some more melted butter over the exposed areas of filo pastry. Bake at Gas 5 for 25 – 30 minutes until golden and cooked. Sprinkle with icing sugar and break out of the bun tin with your hands. If the edges of filo pastry look too rough to you just break them off! While eating, give thanks to Jamie Oliver for the recipe.