While walking the dog today (she has an ouchy so we had to walk very slowly), we were talking about how we could update the mince pie recipe of 2014 with a new twist. Mr E was saying how much he likes Bakewell tarts, so I decided to create frangipane mince pies with a soft layer of delicious almond cream and a mincemeat topping. Don’t feel that you have to make the pastry. There are no rules to this homemade lark – it’s the thought that counts so if you use shop bought pastry (just look out for an all butter one), nobody’s going to judge you!
If you’re using shop bought mincemeat, it’s worth adding a squeeze of fresh orange or a splash of sherry or port to perk it up too.
For the pastry, you’ll need:
200g cold butter
400g plain flour
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 clementine or tangerine, zest and juice
1 jar of mincemeat
To make the pastry, if you fancy doing it:
1. Cut the butter into cubes and pop it into the food processor with the flour, sugar and a pinch of salt. Mix gently until it resembles breadcrumbs
2. Add in the egg and the clementine juice and zest and let it continue stirring gently until the mixture just comes together. Split the dough into two balls: roughly two thirds and a third. Wrap them in clingfilm and put them into the fridge to rest for 20 minutes or so – not too long as it will be too hard and difficult to work with (you should get 12 pies out of each ball of pastry).
To make the frangipane, just combine all the ingredients together (make sure your butter is soft before you start):
120g soft butter
100g caster sugar
150g ground almonds
2 tbsp plain flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
To make the pies:
1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees/gas 5
2. Roll out your first ball of pastry until it’s about 1/2 cm thick and cut out 12 circles with a cutter that’s about 1cm larger all round than the holes in your muffin tin. Press the circles gently into the tin. Pop a heaped teaspoon of the frangipane mixture into the bottom of each pie, then top with a heaped tsp of mincemeat. Don’t fill them too full as the mixture expands and they’ll ooze everywhere.
3. Roll out the smaller ball and cut out smaller circles for the tops (feel free to decorate with little cut outs or stars or whatever). Give them a little brush with some beaten egg, then add a sprinkle of sugar (I like this cinnamon sugar from Steenberg’s).
4. Bake for about 15-20 minutes until they’re golden brown. Leave them to cool before taking them out of the tin, and give them a final sprinkle of icing sugar.