k Luxury Almond Frangipane Mince Pies k
I do love a mince pie particularly if it’s homemade. There’s no getting away from it, this is a really indulgent recipe so I figure if you are going to have a splurge , make it worthwhile.
I have a few requirements for making a ‘stand out from the crowd’ mince pie – number one being a crumbly buttery biscuit like pastry that is then filled with a deeply rich, spiced mince meat (obviously laced with alcohol – brandy or Amaretto) I also want the mince meat to have a bit of bite with largish chunky of almonds.
My only complaint is that mince pies are often made with too much pastry in relation to the filling, so here I experimented with covering the pies instead with frangipane – the classic almond cream, topped with flaked almonds…from Ibiza of course!
I remember my grandmother doing a similar recipe and with my first bite I was back in her kitchen. Adding a frangipane onto mince pies seems to be on trend this year – if it’s good enough for Mary Berry queen of the bake, it’s got to be a winner. The result is an utterly delicious festive mince pie with the similarities of a bakewell tart.
Here I have gone for a square moulds which are a bit different from a traditional round shape – they also look lovely and pretty dusted with vanilla icing sugar, a sprig of lavender and of course served with plenty of brandy butter or brandy cream. They wont hang around for long!
Ingredients (makes 20)
For the biscuit like pastry
225g cold butter (diced into cubes)
350g plain flour (or spelt flour)
100g golden caster sugar (or coconut sugar)
1 tablespoon water
For the mincemeat
You can of course use a jar of luxury mincemeat and add a splash of amaretto or brandy…
2 large Granny Smith apples
100g chopped blanched almonds
150g candied oranges (or pot mixed candied peel)
100g chopped blanched almonds
Zest and juice of 1 orange
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
400g dark muscovado sugar
1½ tsp ground mixed spice
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
100ml Amaretto or brandy
200g pack vegetable suet
For the Frangipane
130g soft butter
130g golden caster sugar
85g self-raising flour
100g ground almonds
2 large free range eggs beaten
½ tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla paste (or extract)
Handful flaked almonds
Icing sugar, to dust
- To Make the mincemeat put everything except the suet into a large mixing bowl and mix well using your hands. Leave for at least 2 hours or overnight if you can. Add the suet and mix again then spoon into sterilised jars while they are still warm.
- To make the pastry put the flour in a large bowl and add the chilled butter and rub it in with your fingertips until it looks like fine crumbs.
- Stir in the sugar, then slowly pour in a little water and scrunch to a dough with your hands, it will be a firm texture. Alternatively use a food processor – chill the pastry for 30 mins
- Heat oven to 170oc Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface until 3mm thick, cut into circles gently press into shallow, non-stick cake tins.
- For the frangipane topping, beat together the soft butter and sugar with an electric whisk until light and fluffy then add the flour, ground almonds, eggs, almond and vanilla extract and beat until smooth.
- Spoon the 1 dessert spoon of mincemeat into the tin then spoon over the frangipane topping.
- Smooth the top and the edges with wet dessert spoon or a palette knife. Scatter over the flaked almonds.
- Bake for 25 mins from room temperature or until the pies are golden. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 mins before transferring to a cooling rack. Dust with icing sugar to serve. Delish!