Surprisingly, I have never actually made my own mince pies. They are so traditional and completely epitomise Christmas that there isn’t really much room to put your own spin on it. When people say they want a mince pie, they really only want a mince pie… just like the ones they have every year.
Around this time every year, however, I just get so bored of the traditional mince pie – it seems that at every gathering they are being shoved in your face! Which is why I took the mince pie and mashed it up with a Bakewell tart (or a frangipane tart if you’re posh.) After I made these I really don’t think I can go back to mince pies – the buttery orange-scented frangipane just takes it to a whole other level.
Frangipane Mince Pies
For the pastry:
50g blanched almonds
200g plain flour
1 tbsp icing sugar
1 egg yolk
140g cold butter, cubed
Zest of 1 orange
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Flour, for dusting
For the filling:
410g good quality mincemeat
100g ground almonds
90g golden caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract/paste
50g flaked almonds
- Make sure the butter is extremely cold – I cube the butter and put it in a bowl in the freezer. This makes the pastry really crumbly.
- Roll out the dough to 3mm thick with plenty of flour, rotating the dough in between rolls to stop it sticking.
- Feel free to add a tablespoon of booze into the frangipane – brandy or amaretto would work well.
- I’m really impatient but its important to leave the mince pies to cool completely in the tin so that the pastry has a chance to crisp up.
- To make the pastry, blitz the almonds in a food processor until fine. Add the flour, icing sugar, cold butter and orange zest and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add the egg yolk and 1-2 tbsp of ice cold water and process again until it forms a rough dough. Form into a disc, wrap in cling film and chill for 20 minutes.
- To make the frangipane topping, whisk together the butter, sugar, orange zest and vanilla. Stir in the ground almonds.
- After 20 minutes, take the dough out the fridge and leave to soften for 5 minutes. Roll out sprinkled with plenty of flour. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan) Cut out circles of the dough and place in a muffin tin.
- Place 1 heaped teaspoon of mince meat into each pastry case. Divide the frangipane between the pastry cases and sprinkle over flaked almonds.
- Place on a baking tray in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the frangipane is set. Leave to cool completely in the tin.