Place the flour into a mixing bowl. Chop the butter into cubes and add to the flour.
If you are using a mixer, use the pastry paddle and switch the mixer onto low speed until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Increase the speed and add the water a few drops at a time until the mixture just comes together to a ball of dough. It should not to tacky or wet.
If you are making the pastry by hand, rub the butter into the flour quickly between your fingers. Ideally your hands should be cold. The butter should melt in the oven, not in the rubbing process. Once themixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, use a knife to mix in the water a little splash at a time until the mixture comes together to a ball.
Wrap the pastry in clingfilm and place in the fridge for half an hour.
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C.
Remove the pastry from the fridge and divide it in half. Roll out one half to approx. 1 cm in thickness. Cut out circles using a scone cutter or a drinking glass. Place the circles into a bun tin / muffin tin.
Roll out the other half of the pastry and cut out slightly smaller circles for the lids.
Take the mincemeat you are using (bought or homemade) and place a teaspoonful of mincemeat into each of the pastry cases in the tin. Press a pastry lid firmly down on top of each.
Brush the top of each mince pie with beaten egg or some milk. This will give them a nice shine. If you plan to sieve icing sugar over the mince pies, you needn’t glaze them before baking.
Pop the mince pies into the hot oven and bake until golden brown, approx. 25 minutes.
You are going to wait to launch right in and eat one (or four) but don’t. Give them a agood 15 minutes to cool. Otherwise you’ll seriously burn your tongue and won’t be able to enjoy anything you eat over Christmas. Trust me on this.
Distract yourself by making a cuppa and tidying up. Then make a fresh pot of tea, sit down and take that first bit you’ve been longing for. Deeelicious! You’ll never buy a mince pie again.