MERRY CHRISTMAS from me and the Food Byte team!
Mince pies are one of the best things about Christmas and making your own is so simple and they taste so much better than shop bought.
These little beauties have a light shortcrust pastry base, a filling or rich homemade fruity mincemeat and are topped with a light fluffy almond frangipane. Serve warm with a drizzle of cream or a generous blob of brandy butter.
This recipe is from my new book 'Christmas' which is out now!
There is still time to order from before Christmas. The book is packed with lovely winter recipes that are perfect for the long dark months of January and February too!
I always try to eat at least two mince pies a day over Christmas! in fact, it is considered bad luck not to eat a mince pie every day for the 12 days of Christmas so get your patty tins out and get ready to bake! These freeze fantastically well - just pop the tray of unbaked pies in the freezer until solid then tip into a freezer bag so you can make more.
Happy baking and have a wonderful Christmas!
Frangipane mince pies
Mince pies are the very essence of Christmas and these are a far cry from those solid short-bready shop bought varieties. There is no shame in using a jar of mincemeat, or even, if you are short of time, some ready made shortcrust pastry. The soft frangiapane topping takes these from humble mince pies to showstoppers.
For the pastry
300g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
a pinch of salt135g cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
55g lard, cut into cubes
2–3 tablespoons ice-cold water
24 teaspoons mincemeat (about 1 x 400g jar)
For the frangipane
130g butter, softened
130g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
2 teaspoons dark rum
2 tablespoons plain flour
150g ground almonds
icing sugar, for dusting
You will need: a 7.5cm fluted pastry cutter; 2 x 12-hole bun tins
Put the flour and salt into a large bowl and, using your fingers, gently rub in the butter and lard until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add enough chilled water, a little at a time, for it to come together in a soft dough. Knead gently into a ball, wrap in clingfilm and chill for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200C/fan 180c.
For the frangipane, cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs and rum, then fold in the flour and ground almonds.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out half the chilled pastry to 3mm thick. Stamp out 24 rounds, using the fluted cutter, then use to line a bun tin. Repeat with the remaining pastry to line the second tin. Place a teaspoon of mincemeat in each pastry case
Top each mince pie with a heaped teaspoonful of the frangipane mixture, place in the heated oven and bake for 20–25 minutes until golden. Cool on a wire rack before dusting with icing sugar and serving.