You may be on the fence with tweaking the classic mince pie, or you may be firmly in the ‘Yay’ or ‘Nay’ camp; I however, am in the ‘Why have one, when you can have both’ camp.
I love mince pies and get very excited when they start to appear in the shops. You can’t beat a classic shortcrust pastry version, so why not have the classics along with some creative alternatives. Whether that’s amaretto mincemeat rather than brandy, a pine infused icing sugar to dust on top or my Frangipane topping.
I have made frangipane tarts in previous blogs and I love the chewy nuttiness and thought it would work brilliantly on top of a shortcrust pastry classic…and it does, they're delicious.
Frangipane Topped Mince Pies
500g mincemeat, shop bought or homemade
280g plain flour
140g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
55g caster sugar
1 large free ranged egg, lightly beaten
For the topping
140g unsalted butter, softened
140g caster sugar
100g ground almonds
85g self raising flour
2 large free ranged eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp amaretto liqueur, or 1/2 tsp almond extract
50g flaked almonds
icing sugar for dusting
In a food processor, blitz the plain flour and butter together to make breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and blitz again to combine. Finally, add the beaten egg and process again until the pastry starts to come together to form a dough - if it needs a little help, add half a teaspoon of cold water.
Transfer the pastry onto cling film and wrap up into a disc and keep in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.
When the pastry has chilled, unwrap and place on a lightly floured work surface. Roll out to roughly 5mm thickness. Using a 8cm round cutter, cut out as many discs as you can - you should get about 24 if you re roll and cut the pastry again. Line 2 12 hole muffin tins with the pastry discs, making sure you gently press them into the base - creating little cups.
Preheat oven to 180ºC
Dollop a spoonful of mince meat into each pastry case, so that it sits just below the edge or the pies. Place back in the fridge whilst you make the topping.
To make the frangipane, beat the butter, sugar, almonds and flour together until combined. Add the eggs and amaretto and beat again to create a paste.
Bring the chilled mince pies from the fridge and spoon a tablespoon of frangipane on to the top of each pie, spreading it right to the edges, so that you cannot see the mincemeat below. Scatter with a few flaked almonds.
Place into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the frangipane is golden brown on top.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes in the pans before tipping out and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack.
Transfer them into your gift tin, or onto a plate for serving and dust with icing sugar.
These will keep for 3 days in a sealed airtight box.
I have one more edible gift idea to share with you before christmas, so come back to the blog next Friday to get your final fix!
Have a great week