DECEMBER 12: A step-by-step guide to making your Lemon Grove Mince Pies

Step by step guide to making The Lemon Grove Citrus Mince Pies © Ellen Montelius 2020

Lemon Grove Citrus Mince Pies

Kitchens and homes up and down the land are full of seasonal scents, memories that shape Christmases past and of sensory pleasures of hints of lavender, patchouli, and Chanel No5 breathed in greeting family and friends; fresh pine from the Christmas tree, vanilla and cinnamon wafting up from candles, or the warm baking air escaping from a hot oven full of gently toasting mince pies.

The Lemon Grove has teamed up with artist Ellen Montelius, a creative tour de force with a keen interest in a culturally diverse portfolio from painting and graphic design to horticulture and pressing issues such as regenerative agriculture and beekeeping, to offer you this graphic guide to making a batch of Lemon Grove Citrus Mince Pies.

Follow Ellen on Instagram @townflowers_tw

This recipe makes 12 largish pies.

For the pastry

500g strong plain flour, plus extra for dusting

175g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting (optional)

375g cold butter, diced

zest and juice 1 large orange

warm baking air escaping from a hot oven full of gently toasting mince pies.

Filling & Glaze

500g mincemeat

1 egg, beaten

Icing sugar for dusting.

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

In a food processor, whizz together the flour, icing sugar and butter until they form fine crumbs (or rub in with your fingers).

With the blades running, add the zest, then 3 tbsp orange juice. Process for a few seconds until the mixture forms clumps.

If you need to, add a few extra tsps orange juice to bring the pastry together.

Tip onto a very lightly floured surface, knead briefly until smooth, then chill in the fridge for 30 mins or until firm.

The pastry can be made up to 3 days ahead or frozen for up to one month.

Lightly dust the work surface with flour, then roll out the pastry to approx £1 coin thickness.

Cut out 12 x 8cm rounds with a fluted cutter and press into a 12-hole non-stick bun tin.

Re-roll the trimmings to the same thickness and stamp out 12 x 5cm rounds for the tops.

Spoon about 1 tbsp mincemeat into each base and press on the tops.

Brush the tops with the egg, then bake for 15-20 mins until golden and crisp.

Cool for a few mins, then lever out of the tins with a table knife and cool on a wire rack.

Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Warm gently to serve, dusted with sifted icing sugar, if you like.

pensive grandmother with granddaughter having interesting conversation while cooking together in light modern kitchen
Bruce McMichael

Food writing, discovering food stories, meeting producers, chefs and food enthusiasts are all part of desire to inspire, inform my readers and fellow food lovers. I am a freelance writer, journalist and published author focusing on the international world of food and drink, culture and travel. In 2019 I graduated from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, Italy with a Masters in Food Culture, Communication and Marketing. I am now a visiting Professor at the university teaching Food & Drink Writing. Based in London I travel widely, particularly across western Europe. I have chaired many conferences and meetings, spoken at conferences and events and often appear on radio and TV talking most about food, the business of food and being an entrepreneur. In 2017 I won an episode of the ITV (the UK-based national television channel) cooking competition show, 'Gordon Ramsay's Culinary Genius'. I took my children on holiday to Sicily with the prize money. As an experienced farmers' market manager and operator of a small marmalade/ preserves company, I am very familiar with the issues surrounding local food, farming, enterprise and the environment.