750 g/1.5 lb/6 cups plain (all-purpose)
A pinch of salt
175 g/6 oz/0.75 cup white vegetable fat (shortening), diced
175 g/6 oz/0.75 cup hard block margarine, diced
Cold water, to mix
450 g/1 lb mincemeat (home-made or bought)
A little milk, to glaze
Caster (superfine) sugar, for sprinkling
Sift the flour and salt into a large
bowl. Add the fats and rub in with the fingertips until the mixture
resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix with enough cold water to form a soft
but not sticky dough. Knead gently on a lightly floured surface. Wrap
in clingfilm (plastic wrap) and chill for 30 minutes.
Roll out just over half the pastry (paste) and cut into 24 rounds,
using a 7.5 cm/3 in biscuit (cookie) cutter. Use to line the sections
of tartlet tins (patty pans). Roll out the remaining pastry and cut
into 24 slightly smaller lids. Fill the pastry cases (pie shells) with
mincemeat, then top each with a pastry lid. Brush with a little milk
and sprinkle with caster sugar. Bake in a preheated oven at
200°C/400°F/gas mark 6 for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Sprinkle with a little more caster
sugar, if liked, and store in an airtight container. They will keep in
a cool place for up to two weeks.