3 More days to go! Unfortunately, I came down with a very nasty cold/cough this week which I’m still battling off in time for Christmas. Being ill makes it very difficult to get in the festive mood, but, after a baking afternoon making some festive treats I feel as though I’m finally getting there! (don’t worry I thoroughly washed my hands). Mince pies are usually a Christmas favourite for all, whether you want to give these as a small gift to a friend, bring them to a party or just make some to have at home to accompany your cup of tea anyone can give these a really good go!Mince pie making used to always be my Gran’s job. Every single year, without fail I honestly think she must have made at least 30. When I was really small I would always try to help too, rolling and cutting out the pastry was usually my dedicated job. Being a pastry expert my Gran’s pies would always be 10/10. I decided this year to try something a little different to the traditional mince pie and try my best to fill the hole of my Gran’s usual mince pies.
I knew I wanted to try frangipane mince pies after having a shop bought one at work. I love almond flavored things so thought they would be a delicious idea. It’s also a good way to hide any embarrassing attempt at pastry if you’re not very confident making it as you’re only using it for the base. No matter how messy they turn out I honestly believe they will still taste amazing so don’t fear, it happens! Nothing beats homemade mince pies either, they’re far tastier than supermarket ones which I find often stick to the rim of your mouth. The recipe I found and adapted is from none other than Mary Berry.
If you want a really yummy idea: quickly blast a homemade pie in the microwave and serve with cream and ice cream
- 175g Plain Flour
- 75g Butter or Margarine (Chopped into cubes)
- 25g Icing Sugar
- 1 Egg, beaten
For the Frangipane:
- 100g Butter/Margarine (softened)
- 100g Caster Sugar
- 2 Large Eggs
- 100g Ground Almonds
- 1 Level Tablespoon Plan Flour
- 1/2 Teaspoon Almond Extract
And For the Filling:
- 410g Mince Meat
- 2 Tablespoons of Brandy
- A few Handfuls of Flaked Almonds
- 4 Teaspoons Apricot Jam
- 2 Teaspoons Water
- Preheat the oven 200 Degrees
- In a bowl empty the jar of mincemeat and pour in the brandy, leaving it to soak.
- To make the pastry In a bowl, add the butter and sugar and sieve in the icing sugar. Using an electric whisk beat the ingredients together until they look like breadcrumbs/sand.
- Pour in the beaten egg and using a spoon mix the ingredients together to form a dough. Put this is the fridge to firm up for half an hour.
- For the filling- using an electric mixer or a spoon beat together the butter and sugar to cream it. Add the two eggs and mix again. Then, add the ground almonds, flour and almond extract, and mix again.
- Get the pastry out the fridge and roll thinly on to a floured surface (also make sure you flour your rolling pin to prevent any sticking). Cut into however many circles you can get out of it using a circle cutter which is around 6.5cm.
- Grease a cupcake tin using butter.
- Place the pastry circle into the tin, if you only own one tin bake the pies in rounds, ensuring the tin is fully cooled before reusing.
- Add a teaspoon of the mincemeat into each. Then add the frangipane to the top of the pies, ensuring they are not overfilling! Sprinkle some flaked almonds onto the top of each pie.
- Bake in the oven for 15-17 mins, the frangipane should spring back when you touch it.
- Place the pies on a cooling rack and leave to cool for a while.
- In a saucepan heat up the jam and water until it starts to boil. Brush this glaze on top of the warm pies.