It wouldn't be Christmas without Mince Pies.
450g (1lb) plain flour
200g (7oz) butter
85g (3oz) vegetable fat
Grated rind of 1 large orange
Chilled orange juice
1. Sift the flour and rub the fat in until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the grated rind and bind with the juice. If making in a food processor go gently as it is easy to over-process. Chill before using for 30 minutes.
2. The mixture is very rich, and is best handled as little as possible. Roll and cut out 24 x 5cm (2¼ inch) lids first. Then cut out 24 x 7cm (3 inch) bases, re-rolling as necessary. Grease and line the tins then add just enough mincemeat before topping with the lids, using milk to stick them securely on. Brush with milk and make a small slit in each pie.
3. Bake for 20 - 30 minutes on the grid shelf on the floor of the Main Oven at 200°C (400°F), Gas Mark 6, until golden. The pastry is wonderfully crumbly, so I usually freeze the pies raw in the tins and then when frozen, hard store them in bags or boxes. They are then quick to bake from frozen as required.