- For the pastry, put the flour, icing sugar, butter and orange zest into a food processor and whiz to fine crumbs. With the motor running, add the egg and whiz for a few seconds until the mixture forms. (If necessary, add 1-3 tsp ice-cold water to bring the dough together.)
- Turn onto a very lightly floured surface and knead briefly until smooth. Wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes, or until firm. (The pastry can be made up to 3 days ahead or frozen for up to a month.)
- For the filling, turn the mincemeat into a bowl and stir in the dried cranberries. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to the thickness of a £1 coin. Using an 8cm fluted cutter, cut out 24 rounds and use to line two 12-hole non-stick mince pie tins.
- Re-roll the trimmings to the same thickness and stamp out 24 stars or Christmas trees, with an appropriate cutter, for the tops. Put a dessertspoonful (2 tsp) filling into each pastry case, then press the tops in position. Chill for at least 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4.
- Brush the tops with the eggwash, then bake the mince pies for 15–20 minutes until the pastry is golden and crisp. Let cool for a few minutes before removing from the tins and transferring to a wire rack to cool. Store an airtight container for up to 1 week. Warm slightly before serving, with a dusting of sugar.
For the mincemeat:
- Peel and grate a large dessert apple into a big bowl.
- Add the grated zest and juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange, then 110g suet, 240g raisins, 110g diced dried apricots, 175g soft dark brown sugar, 50g flaked almonds, 11⁄2 tsp ground allspice, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 3⁄4 tsp ground nutmeg, 50ml brandy and 50ml dark rum.
- Stir well, then cover and chill for 30 minutes.
- If not using immediately, transfer to clean sterilized jars and store in the fridge. The mincemeat improves the longer you let it mature, but should be used within 6 months. makes about 1.25kg (enough for 3 batches of mince pies).