The cooked pies will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Begin this recipe a day ahead.
1 apple, grated, excess water squeezed out
100g unsalted butter, melted
100g brown sugar
100g drained morello cherries in juice*, finely chopped
100g slivered almonds
100g candied peel, finely chopped
100g each currants, seedless raisins + sultanas
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest, plus 2 tbs lemon juice
1 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
Icing sugar, to serve
2 2/3 cups (400g) plain flour, sifted
200g chilled unsalted butter, chopped
1 egg yolk, beaten with 2 tsp milk
Combine all the ingredients, except the icing sugar, in a bowl, stirring well to combine. Cover, then place in the fridge overnight to let the flavours infuse.
The next day, for the pastry, whiz flour, butter and 1/2 tsp salt in a food processor until crumbs form. With the motor running, gradually add 80ml-100ml cold water until the dough just comes together. Halve dough and shape into 2 discs. Enclose in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
Drain the fruit mince, then pulse a few times in a food processor to finely chop.
Preheat oven to 200°C.
Roll out 1 pastry disc to 3mm thick. Cut out 24 x 7cm circles, reserving trimmings, then use to line a greased 24-hole mini (1 1/2 tbs) muffin pan. Fill each with about 1/2 tsp fruit mince.
Roll out remaining pastry disc to 3mm thick. Cut out 24 x 5cm circles, reserving trimmings, then brush the edges with a little water. Press the lids over the filling, wet-side down, gently pressing the edges to seal. Brush liberally with egg wash.
Re-roll pastry trimmings then use a 2cm star-shaped cutter to make 24 stars. Top pies with stars, then brush with egg wash.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Cool, then dust with icing sugar.
* Morello cherries are a sour variety of cherry available in jars or cans from gourmet food shops and delis.