azy mince pies

>It is the Christmas season, and time for mince pies. But when you are busy there is no time for finesse, and if you (like me) dare to bake when it is 37C outside, you need to be as quick as possible.

I hate the mince pies you get from the supermarket, or even the local bakeries. They seem to be heavy on the pastry and light on the fruit mince. So I make my own every year, using shop-bought ingredients.

In Australia they sell shortbread pastry already rolled out so the work is even easier.

My three tips are:

1. Lace the fruit mince with a generous quantity of rum, sherry or brandy before starting.

2. Don’t bother with lids. Just cut out circular shapes for the shells, fill with the fruit and bake.

3. Decorate afterwards with chopped glace cherries and blanched almonds.

Finally, dust the baked pies with Splenda or any other granulated sugar substitute instead of sugar. It gives you a reason to eat more than one at each setting!