The ultimate mince pie recipe
Mince pie season is fast approaching and its time for you to start your preparations
The best mincemeat ever Orange shortcrust pastry Mincemeat Baklava Mincemeat Squares
Christmas cakes and puddings aren't the only holiday tradition that can be made in advance and forgotten for a month while the flavours mature. Make your mincemeat now with the dried fruit, spices and whiskey that are inevitably left over from the making of its grander cousins - the Christmas cake and pudding.
It's worth taking the time to make your own mincemeat rather than picking up a jar of ready-made. And while we're on the subject of things homemade, there's scope to be creative with pastry, whether it's plain shortcrust, sweet pastry or flavoured with citrus zest or even nuts.
A nice variation is to make the pies bite-size rather than the more usual large ones -they're less daunting and won't fill you up, leaving lots of room for other Christmas treats. Sitting on a plate dusted with icing sugar and next to a sprig of holly, these little pies will tempt everyone to have a nibble.