Everyone has their personal favourite recipe but I came across this one some years ago and have never made any others since as they are quite different, highly praised by my friends, very light and with the mascapone filling giving it a creamy twist.
Annabel’s mince pies with orange pastry
For the pastry:
500g strong plain white flour
175g icing or caster sugar
finely grated rind & juice of 1 large orange
For the pie filling:
250g cream cheese or mascarpone
25g golden caster sugar
grated rind & juice of 2 lemons
milk to glaze
How to prepare
Make the pastry first. Sift the flour and sugar into a mixing bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces, stir these into the flour and rub lightly with your finger tips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the orange rind. Using a knife stir in the orange juice until the dough just begins to stick together. Gather up the dough into a ball and wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 mins before using.
Put the cream cheese and caster sugar into a bowl and beat until smooth. Knead the pastry lightly and roll out three quarters fairly thickly. Using a 7.5 cm diameter pastry cutter and cut out 24 rounds, re-rolling the pastry as necessary. Butter two sheets of patty tins and line them with the pastry rounds. Spoon the mincemeat into a bowl and stir in the lemon rind and juice. Fill the lined patty tins to about half their depth with mincemeat, then put a teaspoon full of the cream cheese mixture on top and spread level. Roll out the remaining pastry and using a star shaped cutter cut out 24 stars. Place the stars on top of each mince pie.
Pre-heat oven to 220°C. Brush the tops of the pies with a little milk and bake in the centre of the oven for 15 – 20 minutes until light golden brown.
Serve warm or at room temperature, just before serving sprinkle with icing sugar.