Festive Orange & Fruit Mince Pies

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This recipe uses a rich, light shortcrust pastry, with the tangy, festive twist of fresh orange zest.

I recently created a Zoom lesson demonstrating how to make these delicious star-studded tartlets, for my three lovely children and their families in Knysna, Sydney and London respectively and this was great fun. 

Ingredients

(Makes 24 small mince pies)

  • 4 cups of flour
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 500 g cold butter, cut into cube
  • 1 Tbsp finely grated orange zest *
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) soda water or less
  • 250 g Christmas mince
  • Milk for glazing
  • Icing sugar for dusting, sifted
  • A tot of brandy (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp orange juice
  • If you prefer a sweeter pastry add 1 Tbsp castor sugar
  • Caramelised slices of oranges

Method

1. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the cream of tartar and the salt and mix together.

2. Grate the hard chilled butter and rub into the flour mixture, using your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the orange zest (and sugar if using)                                     Add the soda water (and brandy optional) until the mixture clumps together and forms a firm ball. Add a little flour if too sticky.

3. Wrap in cling film and chill for at least 20 minutes before using.

4. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/400 degrees F.

5. Roll out the chilled pastry onto a clean floured surface to around 3 mm thick. Cut into 12 circles using a round pastry cutter (or a glass) gathering up and excess and rerolling as necessary. Push the circles into the patty pan.

6. Add the orange juice to the fruit mince in a bowl.  Add the brandy. (opt)                                                      Put a teaspoon of mincemeat into each round. (Only about one third of the patty pan or it will overflow.) Roll out the rest of the pastry and cut 12 star shapes. Place these on top of each pie and brush with a little milk.

7. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 12 to 15 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

8. Dust with a little icing sugar and caremelised oranges, to serve.

Caramelised oranges & festive ideas

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