Put flour, sugar, salt and ground almonds in your food processor and press pulse button few times to combine.
Add cubes of chilled butter and mix until texture starts resembling breadcrumbs. Add egg yolk (if using) and keep mixing until the dough comes together almost in a ball. Leave the egg yolk out in vegan version.
Take it out onto the kitchen counter and flatten into a disc, cover in baking paper or beeswax wrap and chill for about 10-15 minutes.
If you don't have food processor simply mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl, add chilled, cubed butter and rub with your fingers until you get to crumbs like consistency. Add egg yolk if using (leave out in vegan version) and keep on mixing with your hands until dough starts coming together. Flatten it into a disc, cover in cling film and chill as above.
Butter shallow tart tray and preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4.
Roll out your pastry on a floured surface and cut out 12 rounds which you then press into each hole in your tart tray. Make sure you press gently on the sides of each pastry round to get rid of any air bubbles. Cut out another 12 rounds that will serve as lids.
Put approx 1 heaped tsp of mince meat in the centre of each pastry case and cover these with the remaining pastry rounds pressing gently on the edges to seal.
Brush gently with some milk (plant/nut milk) and using sharp knife make two tiny vents on the top of each pie.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden.
Let the pies cool in a tray for a few minutes which will make them easier to remove. Pop them onto a wire rack to cool completely. Serve dusted with icing sugar or however your heart desires!