With only three weeks to go until Christmas (yes, really), it's time to start planning and prepping the food for the big day.
One of the easiest things to make ahead of time - besides Christmas pudding - are Christmas mince pies.
This is because the mince pies will keep in an airtight container in the pantry for up to a week or in the freezer for up to three months.
For the best Christmas mince pie recipe, Tom Aiken of Tom's Kitchen has revealed his delicious mince pie recipe below.
Christmas mince pies by Tom Aiken
Makes minimum 24
Mince Meat Pastry
325g-cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped 270g all-purpose flour
115g shredded suet 1.5g salt
150g raisins 140g butter
115g sultanas and currants 110g caster or powdered sugar
115g mixed candied peel 2 egg yolks
150g soft dark brown sugar 1 whole egg
Zest and juice of 1 lemon and orange Few drops vanilla essence
30g nibbed almonds
2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon
Large pinch fresh grated nutmeg
0.5g ground ginger
4 tbsp brandy
1. Mix all the ingredients together, except the brandy, in a bowl and leave in a cool place for 12 hours to marinade.
2. Place the mixture in a baking dish, cover with tin foil and bake for 2.5 to 3 hours at 140°c / 225°f.
3. Leave to cool stirring from time to time and then stir in the brandy.
4. Spoon the cooled mixture into storage jars and cover with waxed discs and seal. This is then ready to use, however it’s best to leave it to mature for one month.
1. Sieve the flour and salt, put into a stand mixer and place on a low to medium speed, then add the butter mix till crumb like. Add the sugar then eggs and yolks, it will slowly come together, then refrigerate for 1 hour.
2. Roll the dough out between two sheets of parchment to a 0.5cm thickness, then let it rest for 10 minutes. Cut out 48 pieces with a round cutter, you need the tops to be medium and the bottoms to be large.
3. Make the mince pies in either small Yorkshire pudding moulds or tartlet cases. Lightly grease the moulds/cases then flour. Line with the pastry then add the mince pie mix. Place on the lid, crimp the edges and bake at 180°c /375°f for about 10-15 minutes, dust with icing sugar.