I have a confession. Until this time last year, I had never eaten a mince pie.
Sure, I had tried the odd nibble – enough to know they are something disgusting that I definitely would never like – but I’d never eaten a whole one.
That all changed last year, when my colleague Jenny brought mince pies into the office. I felt I ought to try one out of politeness, as she always tries all my bakes, but I was certain I wouldn’t like it.
Jenny’s mince pie was a revelation. It wasn’t your average mince pie, but one with a frangipane topping rather than a pastry lid. And it was delicious.
This year I decided to have a go myself and I wasn’t disappointed – frangipane mince pies are the future! Make these immediately, even if you hate mince pies!
Frangipane mince pies (adapted from A Spoonful of Sugar’s recipe, with my own recipe for the pastry)
For the pastry:
- 170g plain flour
- 30g icing sugar
- 80g butter
- 1 egg yolk (save the white for glazing)
- zest and juice of 1 orange
Put the flour, sugar, butter and orange zest in a food processor, then blitz until it looks like a breadcrumb-like texture. Add in the egg yolk and half the orange juice, blitz again. It should come together in a nice, soft dough, but if it looks a bit dry add the rest of the orange juice and mix again. Chill for half an hour, then roll out to about 3-4mm thick and cut into 12 rounds to line a cupcake tin, and use the leftovers to cut out 12 stars to go on top. Chill again while you make the filling.
For the filling:
- 150g-ish mincemeat
- 1 egg
- 45g caster sugar
- 45g melted butter
- 45g ground almonds
Whisk the egg and sugar together until light and airy. Add in the melted butter while still whisking, then fold in the ground almonds. Spoon about a teaspoon of mincemeat into each of the pastry cases, then top up with the frangipane mixture. Place one the star lids on each and lightly glaze with the leftover egg white. Bake at 200 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and the frangipane has puffed up and browned.
Serve while still warm, dusted with a little icing sugar.