What ever other cake baking might go on around here you can guarantee there will always be a fully stocked tin of homemade mince pies during December.
I've experimented with various recipes, using different pastries or different toppings but the recipe I always come back to is this almond paste version with its sweet crumbly pastry and generous amount of fruity filling
I first made them about twenty years ago when I attended a "Cooking for Christmas" day class at the local village college. We made several things most of which I've long forgotten but the recipe that stuck with me was this mince pie recipe. I have shared it on the blog before but as it is one of the most requested recipes I make I hope you don't mind if I share it again.
If you make them, I promise you'll love them. But warning... They do contain traces of nuts! (The warning on the packet of flaked almonds)
Almond Paste Mince Pies
For the pastry, whizz together in a food processor* 4 oz soft unsalted butter, 8 oz plain flour, 2 oz of caster sugar, 1 egg yolk and 2 tablespoons of water until the mixture holds together. Wrap in cling film and chill while you make the topping.
For the topping, again whizz together in the food processor 6 oz soft unsalted butter, 6 oz plain flour, 2 oz caster sugar, 1 egg yolk and 1 teaspoon almond essence.
Roll out the chilled pastry and cut out circles to line 24 tart tins. Fill each one with a rounded teaspoon mincemeat and then pipe the topping mixture in swirls onto each tart. Top with a few flaked almonds.
Bake for 20 minutes at 190 deg C
* I'm sure this could be done without a food processor but it would be a lot more hard work and despite the faff of piping the topping these are really quick and easy.