Sieve the flour into a mixing bowl. Dice the butter and, using your fingertips, rub it into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs . Chill for 20 minutes.
Squeeze the orange. Add a pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons of water to the juice and chill this for 20 minutes as well.
Put the flour and butter mixture into the bowl of a food processor, add the salted orange juice and pulse until the dough starts to form.
Transfer the dough to a floured surface and shape into two balls. Wrap in cling film and chill for 20 minutes.
PRE-HEAT OVEN TO 200˚C/180˚C FAN/GAS 6
Butter 2 x 12-mould tart trays.
Roll the pastry into a circle, 5mm thick. Use a biscuit cutter to cut 24 discs that are slightly larger than the tray moulds. Gently press the circles of pastry into the moulds. Fill each with 1 teaspoon of mincemeat.
Re-roll the pastry. Cut out 24 stars and place them on top of the mincemeat.
Brush each pie with a little milk and bake in the hot oven for 10-15 minutes. Check regularly as these pies take very little time to cook.
Remove from the oven and with the help of a palette knife prise the pies out of the mould, putting them on to a wire rack to cool completely.
Dust with icing sugar before serving.
If you have never baked your own mince pies, give this easy, simple recipe a go. You’ll never want to go back to shop bought!
Make sure that both the butter and the orange juice are ice cold and that you handle the pastry as little as possible.
Freeze mince pies uncooked – just put your tray of filled pastry in the freezer until solid, then transfer the pies to a freezer bag or plastic container.
To cook, put the frozen mince pies back into the tins and cook at 180˚C/160˚C FAN/GAS 4 for 20-25 minutes until golden and piping hot.