Friday, 13 December 2013

Frangipane topped mince pies

I am in love. With the homemade mince pie. Last year I mentioned how I thought I did not like mince pies. Turns out what I do not like are over sweet mushy soft soggy shop mince pies. What I LOVE are homemade ones with short crumbly buttery pastry with a spiced fruit centre.

I have already made a batch of normal mince pies this year and they reignited my relatively new found love. You can find the recipes for the mincemeat, and the pies themselves here.

Although I love them as they are I wondered if there was any other ways that I could jazz them up. I love frangipane and decided that a moist almond sponge topping on a mince pie would probably be no bad thing. And I was 100% right. These are amazing. As someone had work said, 'they may upset absolute traditionalists but dare I say these are better than all pastry'.

I am not claiming this to be an original idea, I am sure if we looked there would be lots of recipes out there. But I did use my own mincemeat recipe, my own pastry and my own frangipane recipe. So I can at least the claim credit for this exact version.

Frangipane topped mince pies

makes 10-12

90g butter
110g plain flour
2 tablespoons caster sugar
egg yolk
1-3 tablespoons ice cold water


70g butter
50g caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
1 egg
teaspoon almond extract
70g ground almonds
25g plain flour
Pulse the butter and flour in a food processor until it looks like breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and egg yolk and pulse again. Add the water, a tablespoon at a time, and pulse until until the dough comes together, I have made this pastry a couple of times and always have needed 2 tablespoons of water, but it will depend on the butter you use and the size of the egg yolk.

Gather the dough and wrap in clingfilm, chill for 30 minutes.

While the pastry is chilling make the frangipane. Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla together until light and creamy. Beat in the egg and almond extract until combined. Gently fold in the almonds and flour until everything is evenly combined. 
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C FAN. Spray or butter cupcake tins and add a strip of greaseproof paper, this will make removing your mince pies a doddle.

Lightly flour a work surface and roll out your pastry to a few mm thick. Stamp out circles bigger than the bases in your cupcake tin.  Line the cases with the pastry, gently pushing it to the base and up the sides. Trimmings can be lightly re-rolled and to get the most from your pastry.

Fill each case with heaped teaspoons of mincemeat. then top with heaped teaspoons of frangipane. 

Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the frangipane topping is golden.

Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. 

I say cool completely but they are nice warm. I do  mean warm not hot, The hot pies are unstable and likely to collapse, not to mention the molten fruit within may do serious damage!

I am a little bit sad that I took these in to work as they are all gone already. Another batch will definitely be made on Friday.


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