Ideal for Christmas Mince Pies

Crumbly Orange Pastry for Mince PiesIf you’ve gone to the trouble of making your own mincemeat, you don’t want to let the side down by buying the pastry do you?
The secret of a good short, pastry is to use a little more butter than you normally would – not too much or your mince pies will disintegrate. For Christmas I use orange juice to bind the dough, making the perfect partner for Quercy Mincemeat. I’ve been making this recipe for years and I commend it to you.

Makes 36 Mince Pies

Ingredients

1-Kilo Plain Flour
650 Grams Butter, well chilled
50 Grams Caster Sugar
The Juice of Two Oranges, chilled

Method

If you prefer to stick to traditional methods and rub the fat into the flour with the tips of your fingers, splendid.
If not, place the flour in the bowl of the food processor with the sugar and whizz for thirty seconds. Chop the butter into smallish pieces and add whilst the mixer is running. Give a final whizz and you should have a mixture resembling fine breadcrumbs. Now add the orange juice in a steady, thin stream, again whilst the mixer is running. Be careful not to add too much.
The mixture will quickly form itself into a ball and bounce frantically round your processor as if it’s trying to make it’s way out! Your pastry is ready. Take it out, wrap in cling film and chill for thirty minutes.

If your food processor is fairly small it may be prudent to do this in two lots, there’s no need to wash the bowl in between, it should be quite clean.

You can use the pastry straight away, or it will keep in the fridge for up to a week. If you wish to keep it longer, I suggest you divide it into three (twelve mince pies per portion) and freeze it. It freezes perfectly, and of course it means that if somebody unexpectedly announces an imminent visit, you have all the ingredients to hand for a perfect Christmas welcome.

Merry Christmas!

© Amanda Lawrence

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