These are about the only thing I go all out for at Christmas. The little pies are full of memories-the recipe is adapted from a family one. I mix it up with the dried fruit a bit - my current mince has dried cranberries in it - but use whatever dried fruits you want. I also cut star shapes out of the pastry for the top of each tart. Make the mince about a month beforehand.
Make sure all ingredients are finely chopped to around the same sized pieces. In a large bowl, mix all the fruit, chopped apples, butter, rind and spices together till well combined. Dissolve the sugar in the brandy and pour it over the mixture.
Cover and let stand overnight.
The next day stir the mixture again then place in clean dry jars for at least a month before using.
To make the pastry: sift the flours and then either rub in the butter or combine in a food processor. Add the sifted icing sugar and then stir in the egg yolk and water and mix it all to a dough. Work into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, then put in the fridge for an hour.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and grease a 12 hole muffin tin.
To assemble: roll out the dough on a floured surface till about 2mm thick. Cut out shapes to fit the muffin holes, fill each tart with a generous teaspoon of mince (but don't overfill) and cover the top of each tart with another circle of pastry, or use biscuit cutters to add different shapes to the top.
Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes then remove to a rack to cool off.