Mince Pies with Orange Pastry

My husband takes the tradition of eating 12 mince pies between Christmas and New Year very seriously.  This apparently ensures a full twelve months of happiness in the year ahead.  In fact my husband likes to have a few more under his belt (so to speak) just to be sure – and then, of course, he needs to practise getting up to full mince pie eating capacity so he likes to have a few in the run up to Christmas   Basically he loves mincepies!

With all this demand, I always like to have a stash of mince pies in the freezer so I don’t have to be rolling out pastry all the time.  I freeze them raw in the trays and – once they are frozen – pop them out and store them in freezer bags.  That way when I want them I just return them to the patty tray and cook them from frozen for 20 mins at 175c. Really easy for when guests drop in, or you just feel a bit peckish but don’t want to put in much last minute effort, or even (heaven forbid) when you realise Oct-Dec next year are not going to be good months unless you eat three more mincepies on New Years Eve.

My favourite pastry for the mince pies is a very buttery shortcrust flavoured with orange zest and bound together with the juice   It’s absolutely amazing if I say so myself – and the smell when they come out the oven …… yum. It’s  made in the food processor so it’s ridiculously easy to do.  Just remember because the pastry is so crumbly and butter rich to leave the cooked mince pies in the tins for 5 mins after cooking before taking them out and putting on a rack to cool  or they will fall apart

If you made your own Home-made Christmas Mincemeat or even the Quince and Cardamon Mincemeat then this is where they come into their own (there is still time to make some now if you want to) as you can really pile it in without worrying about it leaking out when you cook them in the same way shop bought does.  If you didn’t manage to make your own then just add a bit more dried fruit and a slosh of alcohol to ready made and you are good to go  – though maybe don’t fill the pies quite as full.

Dont feel you only have to make mince pies with pastry tops – try cutting out marzipan shapes and topping with an almond as pictured, or putting on a crumble or frangipane topping – or even baking without a lid and adding a fondant icing top instead when they are cool.

Ingredients (makes 3 dozen) 

  • 500g plain flour
  • 125g icing sugar
  • 350g cold butter straight from fridge, cubed
  • zest and juice of a large orange
  • 2 to 3 jars of mincemeat, depending on how full you fill the pies

Method

  1. Place flour, icing sugar and orange zest in food processor.  Add cubed butter and pulse until mix is a sandy, breadcrumb texture
  2. Add juice from orange and pulse again until mixture is just coming together.   Do not overwork
  3. Divide pastry into three.  Shape into discs and put in fridge for 30 mins.
  4. Butter and flour well mince pie patty trays.  You may have to do this in batches if you only have one tray
  5. Roll out pastry and line bases of pans.
  6. Fill with mincemeat and add the “top” of your choice (see notes above) Make crosses in pastry tops if using. If not freezing go straight to point 9
  7. Open freeze overnight.
  8. Prise out mincepies when frozen and store in bags in freezer to optimise space
  9. When ready to cook replace frozen pies in required number in mincepie trays.  Cook at 175c for 20 mins until golden
  10. Leave to cool in tins for 5 mins before removing and putting on wire rack to cool
  11. Dust with icing sugar and serve

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3 Comments

  1. Wow Rosie– you are amazing!! These are beautiful– my favorites are the ones with little stars on top. And so smart to freeze them– I didn’t know we could do that with pie pastry!! Great tip! And– I’ve never made pie crust with orange, but it sounds super– I think you are right about how yummy it would smell!! Another great post– You’ve got me thinking about Christmas baking… I’ll be off to email in the next couple days– finally settling down here after kids have gone… hugs hugs!

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