Richard's Velvet Pastry for Mince Pies

Richard's Velvet Pastry for Mince Pies

• 450g (1lb) plain flour

• 200g (7oz) butter

• 85g (3oz) vegetable fat

• Grated rind of 1 large orange

• Chilled orange juice

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. 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. 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 hard store them in bags or boxes. They are then quick to bake from frozen as required.