Frangipane Mince Pies
It’s at this time of the year that I hear the call of the beloved mince pie. Not just any mince pie, but Frangipane Mince Pies, from one of my favourite baking books, Nigella Lawson’s, How to be a Domestic Goddess.
What is a mince pie?
Unless you are from an english speaking country, no doubt, some of you may even wonder what is a mince pie. And you are probably wondering why on earth you would you mix minced meat with fruit and sugar then wrap in pastry?
Mince pies are a traditional British sweet eaten around Christmas time. Said to have been brought over by the European crusaders from the Holy Land. Indeed, they are reminiscent of Middle Eastern cooking, where meat is often combined with fruits, nuts and spices. Therefore, the very first mince pies actually did contain meat. However, palates changed over the years and the current day mince pie no longer contains meat and is purely dried fruits (currants, sultanas, apple, mixed peel), shredded suet or vegetable shortening, sugar and brandy. The mince meat is usually prepared months ahead, preserved by plentiful sugar and alcohol!
Frangipane Mince Pies
Does size matter?
If you love mince pies then I’m sure you’ll love these. Even though, they may take a little longer than a regular mince pie they are well worth the extra 10 minutes it takes making the frangipane.
What is your favourite Christmas food treat?
If you have any questions or comments just drop me a line or write in the comments box below.
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- 175 g plain flour preferably 00
- 30 g ground almonds
- 65 g icing sugar
- pinch of salt
- 125 g cold unsalted butter diced
- 2 large egg yolks beaten with 1 tbsp of iced water
- 200 g mincemeat
- 1 tbsp brandy optional
- 90 g caster sugar
- 90 g unsalted butter melted
- 2 large eggs
- 90 g ground almonds
- 4 tbsp flaked almonds
Put the flour, ground almonds, sugar and salt into the food processor bowl and pulse to combine.
Add the chilled diced butter and process until you have a mixture the texture of breadcrumbs.
Start to add, one tablespoon at a time, the egg and water mix down the funnel. Pulse as you add, until the pastry looks like it's about to form a ball around the blade.
Turn out the mixture onto a lightly floured surface and bring together with your hands to form a dough.
Shape the dough into 2 discs, cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Roll out one of the disc and stamp out 6 circles. The circles need to be slightly larger than the tart indentations. Press the pastry down gently. Roll out your next disc of dough and repeat. Place the tray back into the fridge for a further 15 minutes to rest.
Preheat the oven to 200C / gas mark 6.
Melt your butter.
In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar then pour in the melted butter, whilst still beating. Then stir in the ground almonds.
Mix the brandy into the mincemeat.
Remove the tray from the fridge and place 3/4 teaspoon of the brandy mince meat into each pastry cavity.
Add a tablespoon of the frangipane mix over each mince meat filled pastry.
Sprinkle each pie with some flaked almonds and bake for 15 minutes, or until the pastry is cooked and the tops are golden brown.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tins for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.