To make the filling, simply stir the chocolate and conserve into the mincemeat and set aside.
Put the flour, salt and butter in a processor and blend until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Alternatively, rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips. Stir in the sugar, orange zest and the egg yolk mixture and work together briefly until the mixture starts to stick together in small clumps.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly into a ball. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 10 mins.
Roll out the shortbread between two sheets of baking parchment to the thickness of a pound coin. Stamp out 24 rounds using a 6cm fluted cutter, re-kneading and rolling the trimmings when necessary.
Place half the rounds on the baking parchment and spoon a small tsp of mincemeat onto each one. Don't overfill them. Brush the edges with a little beaten egg and press the remaining rounds on top. Pinching the edges together firmly.
Re-roll the trimmings and stamp out small snowflake shapes with the snowflake cutter. Press a snowflake on each pie. Open freeze the pies overnight.
To bake, simply pop the frozen pies onto a lined baking sheet and bake at 180C, fan 160C, gas 5 for 10-12 mins until golden. Leave to cool and firm up for 5 mins then transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm, lightly dusted with icing sugar.
To give as gifts, pack into airtight jars or containers. The mince pies will keep well for up to one week.
After the mince pies have been filled and sealed, stamp the cutter over the pies once more to sharpen the fluted shortbread edges.
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