Frangipane Mince Pies

With less than three weeks until Christmas, it is time to upgrade your mince pies. Frangipane is a sweet, almond filling that, when baked, turns from a thick paste into a delicious and golden sponge textured treat.

These mince pies are very straight forward in their concept but the addition of frangipane is the star of the show - they are sure to impress your friends and family over the coming Christmas holidays!

INGREDIENTS

For the Mincemeat

- 800g Dried fruit (soaked in a couple of tbsp of brandy for an hour beforehand)

- 130g Butter

- 220g Light brown muscovado sugar

- 1/2 tsp cinnamon

- 130ml Brandy

For the pastry

- 95g Butter

- 75g Caster sugar

- 3 Egg yolks

- 215g Plain flour

For the Frangipane

- 150g Butter (softened)

- 145g Caster sugar

- 65g Plain flour

- 125g Plain almonds

- 3 Large eggs (lightly beaten)

- Flaked almonds (to top the mince pies with)

METHOD

- Make your mincemeat by placing the dried fruit, butter, sugar and cinnamon into a saucepan. Heat gently until all the butter has melted before bringing up to a gentle simmer, stirring regularly for approximately 7-10 minutes.

- Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes before stirring in the brandy and placing into sterilised jars.

- Prepare the pastry by creaming together the butter and sugar before slowly beating in the egg yolks.

- Once fully incorporated add the flour slowly until the mixture has come together fully.

- Wrap the pastry in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling out and fitting into a mini muffin tin.

- Spoon mincemeat into each of the muffin tin holes until they are just over half filled.

- Prepare your frangipane topping by beating the butter and sugar together before adding the flour.

- Beat in the eggs before stirring in the almonds to make a thick paste.

- Fill the remaining parts of each of the pies and smooth out before scattering with a few flaked almonds and baking at 180 degrees fan for 20 - 25 minutes (when the topping is risen and has set completely).

- Allow to cool slightly before dusting with icing sugar and serving.

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