Orange Pastry For Mince Pies
(makes 24) 
this light, crumbly, rich pastry really complements home-made mincemeat. 
to try and alleviate any last-minute panic, i always make a large batch 
of mince pies beforehand and put them in the freezer. i take them out 
and heat them up as i need them and they taste perfect. 
500 (l lb) plain flour
175 (6 oz) icing or castor sugar (i use castor sugar)
375 (12 oz) butter
  finely grated rind and juice of 1 large orange.
sift the flour and sugar into a mixing bowl. cut the butter into small 
pieces, stir these into the flour and then rub gently with your 
fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. stir in the grated 
orange rind. then, using a knife, stir in the orange juice until the 
dough just begins to stick together. gather up the dough and pat it 
into a ball, wrap it in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes or 
more before using. 
mince pies de luxe 
(makes 24) 
mince pies can be rather dry, but by mixing the spicy mincemeat with 
smooth cream cheese you can give them a really luxurious texture. 
250 (8 oz) full fat cream cheese (i use philadelphia full fat cream
50 (2oz caster sugar
500 (1 lb) orange pastry (above)
  oil for greasing
500 - 625 (1-11/4 lb) mincemeat
  milk to glaze
  caster or icing sugar, to decorate
first put the cream cheese and the caster sugar in a bowl and beat them 
until smooth. knead the pastry lightly and roll it out rather more 
thickly than usual. using a 7.5 cm (3-inch) fluted pastry cutter, cut 
out 24 rounds, re rolling the pastry as necessary. line grease patty 
tins with the rounds. fill to about half their depth with mincemeat. 
then put a teaspoonful of the beaten cream cheese mixture on top of the 
mincemeat and smooth the top. roll out the remaining pastry and with a 
smaller 5 cm (2-inch) fluted cutter, cut out another 24 rounds. moisten 
the underside of the rounds and place them on top of the filled pies. 
press the edges lightly together and make a small slit in the top of 
each pie. 
brush the tops with cold milk and bake in the centre of the over, 
preheated to gas mark 7/220 degrees c/425 degrees f, for 15-20 minutes 
until light golden-brown. the pastry is so deliciously crumbly that it 
is best to let these mince pies cool down before gently easing them from 
the tins with a round-bladed knife. 
before serving, sprinkle them generously with caster or icing sugar. 
serve either warm which of course is best or cold. 
leave to cool before taking out of tin. i grease and flour my tin 
(ID: 1292) Mirror: Mon, Sep 19, 2005

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