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Mince pies are the epitome of Christmas, there’s no denying it (even if like me, you don’t actually like mince pies). As soon as the shops start stocking them you can hear the ho-ho-ho of Santa and the trotting of reindeer on the roof. But, you don’t like mince pies(?) I hear you cry, well, I’m in the minority as the rest of my family adore them. My dad starts stocking up the cupboards at the beginning of October! However, when I smelt these freshly baked ones in the oven I was nearly converted, nearly…

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They’re the perfect treat to leave out for Santa, one day a year just won’t be enough… even the reindeer’s will want one!

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The orange in the pastry makes these mince pies zesty and zingy. When I grated the zest the smell just burst into the kitchen and really reminded me of Christmas.

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These are wonderful to serve heated up in the oven with whipped cream.

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Ingredients

250g butter
380g plain flour
100g caster sugar
1 orange 
2 jars of mincemeat
Recipe (The Little Elf Bakery)… makes 15-17 mince pies

Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees celsius and butter the tin you are going to use. Sieve the flour in to the bowl and add the sugar, butter (diced) and grated orange zest. Rub together until the mixture starts combine and form a ball. At this stage add 1/4 of squeezed orange juice. Knead gently until the mixture is smooth and no crumbs fall off.

Flour your work surface and break your pastry in half (this just makes it easier to work with. Flour your rolling pin so the mixture doesn’t stick to it and roll out the pastry so it is 0.5cm thick. This is important because if you cut the pastry too thin the mince meat will seep through the bottom and you will get a soggy base. Place the cut pastry into the tin, making sure you gently push down so the pastry doesn’t break. Add the mincemeat, how much depends on personal preference. Cut a top for the mince pies and place this in top and and brush with orange juice. Then, cut a small star, add to the mince pies and again brush with orange juice. Put in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.

When they are ready take them out of the oven and leave to cool before attempting to get out of the baking dish. If you try and get the mince pies out of the baking dish before they have cooled down they will crumble. AND, make sure they’re cool before you try and sample one (no matter how good they smell).

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 Dust with icing sugar and serve…

 
 
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