Despite the American love and obsession with pies, which range from wobbly pumpkin, to comforting apple, lattice-topped, crumble-topped, or bare and open, the British Christmas mince pie is something which has gone unnoticed in these fair lands.
With only two weeks to Christmas, our tree standing proudly in the middle of our apartment, Christmas tunes playing in the background, and a break from work desperately needed, I set about making a cheat's batch of mince pies.
I didn't stray from my usual path of following Dan Lepard's dark and rich mincemeat recipe, which, miraculously, can be started and ready for putting in pies in just a couple of hours, and Lily Vanilli's ever reliable sweet shortcrust pastry. When tea time rolled around, these star-topped mince pies had been dusted with icing sugar and were ready to be drizzled with cream and a dash of brandy. My favourite Christmas treat, and a nostalgic taste of home. Only our families were missing from a perfect December afternoon.