Mince pies are the essence of Christmas for me. Little tarty things, crispy buttery pastry containing a dollop of fruity, boozy mincemeat (mincemeat recipe here). The name, misleading though it is, possibly comes from a time when all food was called 'meat'.
Chop the butter into cubes - make sure it's soft enough to work with. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Rub some of the butter into the flour using your fingertips. Add more butter and rub that in. When all the butter is in, stir in half of the water. You want use the smallest amount of water possible to achieve a cohesive dough. You may need to take the pastry out of the bowl and knead it a bit to get everything nicely mixed.
Wrap the pastry in plastic film and stick it in the fridge to rest for half an hour.
Press each pastry base into the dents in the tin. Place a disc of pastry in each one, pressing them down to the bottom, and then spoon in a dollop of mincemeat. Moisten the corners of each lid and press them down onto the base.
Brush with egg-wash (a beaten egg plus a little milk) all over the top and around the rim of each pie. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Check them after 15 minutes, and turn them round so you get a nice consistent bake.
When your pies are nice and golden, remove them from the tray and place on a cooling rack. Sprinkle with caster sugar.
Congratulations, you just made the taste of a British Christmas!