I'm not a keen pastry cook and, every year, have always searched in vain for a decent mince pie pastry recipe. However a couple of years I was recommended a recipe by Darren ( @urdygurdy on Twitter ) and chef at the Minfford Hotel near Tal-y-llyn in North Wales ( a stunning part of the country if you've never visited ).
The ingredients are from Darren but I can't blame him for the recipe. Also the orange zest is my own addition.
I couldn't decide whether to put the mince pies or the lemon drizzle in the guest rooms so I've put both in in the run up to Christmas.
5oz cold butter, cut into cubes
8oz plain flour
zest of half an orange
1 jar of mincemeat
a little water
1 small beaten egg
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C or Fan oven to 180 degrees C.
Rub the butter into flour until it resembles breadcrumbs ( I use the food mixer ), add the sugar and orange zest and mix well. Add the egg and mix well until it forms a stiff dough. You made need a few drops of water but not a lot.
I put the pastry wrapped in clingfilm for at least 30 mins.
Cut the pastry into 2 then roll out quite thinly on a floured surface. I use a large and medium pastry cutter to cut out 16 large and 16 medium sized circles. You'll probably need to pull together the trimmings of pastry and reroll them a few times.
Take a mincepie tin and line with the large circles. ( My mincepie tin only has 12 holes so I do it in 2 batches ). Put about a teaspoon of mincemeat in each ( be careful not to overfill ). Brush the edges with water and then put the smaller circles of pastry on top. Crimp the edges together. Brush with beaten egg and put in the oven for 20 minutes. My oven isn't very even so I time for 10 minutes then turn round the tin and cook for another 10 minutes..
Put on a cooling tray and dust with icing sugar.