Little Ruby Mince Pies

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There are few things more Christmassy than home-made mince tarts, and I absolutely insist on having a batch or two hanging around the house this time of year. Cranberries give this version it's ruby brilliance; they glisten like clusters of delicious jewels encased in their simple, flaky pastry. Mince pies freeze well and are best served warm, with the littlest ones perfectly designed to be plucked from the dish and popped whole straight into the mouth. The larger star-topped pies make a beautiful sweet finish to a sit-down festive dinner, and I plan to enjoy mine after Christmas day brunch with a scoop of rich vanilla bean ice cream melting next to it on the plate.

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{Tip: Some will judge, but I'm big on using frozen pastry sheets rather than making shortcrust from scratch. When thawing pastry sheets keep them covered with a cool damp cloth so the dough won't dry out and will stay flaky when baked.}

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{Tip: The only place I've found to buy frozen cranberries in Brisbane is Aldi, from the Creative Gournet brand. Fresh ones remain illusive!}

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{Tip: Rather than cluttering my tiny kitchen with stacks of different muffin tins, I find these reusable silicone baking cups really handy for crafting variously sized tarts and cakes.}

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