If, like me, you happened to make enough mincemeat to feed a small team of elves at the start of the festive season, you may by now be searching for more creative ways to use it up prior to the big day on Friday. Frangipane is one of my favourite things to eat ever, and these mince pies topped with a thin crumbly layer of buttery, nuttiness are lovely. Eating one of these with a generous helping of fresh cream and a glass of mulled wine is the perfect way to start the christmas holidays to me.
For the pastry
350g plain white flour
25g ground almonds
125g caster sugar
250g unsalted butter
~ 5 tablespoons water
For the filling
1 jar of mincemeat (~ 18 tablespoons worth)
If you are making your own, I have a recipe here, but if not shop-bought will work just as well.
200g ground almonds
zest of 1 orange
125g unsalted butter
100g caster sugar
icing sugar to finish
- To begin with grease your muffin tray so you have space to make ~ 18 mince pies. Do this by melting a small cube of butter and brushing each muffin hole with a light coat (not so much that you make the holes unnecessarily greasy), followed by a slight dusting of flour.
- To make the pastry, chop 250g of chilled pastry into small cubes and place in large bowl. Measure out the flour and add to the butter, rubbing it in with the tips of your fingers until there are no clumps of butter left and the mix resembles breadcrumb.
- This is quite a rich, sweet shortcrust pastry so the next step is to add the ground almonds and sugar. Stir through, before cracking in an egg and incorporating. Next add the water a bit at a time until you can bring the pastry together into a smooth dough.
- Wrap in cling film and leave to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Turn the oven on and preheat to 190•C.
- To make the frangipane filling, start by creaming the butter and sugar together like you would for a standard sponge cake. Once smooth and fluffy, beat 2 eggs in a separate bowl. Alternate between adding 100g of almonds, with half the eggs, followed by the second 100g of almonds and half of eggs and mix well. Finally add the zest of one orange. Voilà- super simple.
- Remove your pastry from the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface until about 2-3 mm thick. Use a pastry cutter slightly larger than the upper diameter of your muffin-try hole to cut out the bases of the pies. Fit these gently into your tray, being careful to push fully into the corners.
- Spoon a generous tablespoon of mincemeat into the base of each pastry case, then top up the pie with a dollop of frangipane.
- Bake for 25 minutes.
- Give each pie a generous dusting of icing sugar because it is christmas.