It’s officially December so let’s break out the mince pies! I’m not sure which word to use to describe how much I L O V E mince pies. Working in an office you can be pretty sure that at some point someone will offer you an afternoon mince pie or leave a tray out in the kitchen. It’s little things like this that make the office environment a little more festive.
So at the weekend I was all set to bake a cake when a trip to the supermarket saw me walk away with a nice big jar of mincemeat and a bag of ground almonds. I knew in my heart they should be together. I'd had a craving for frangipane since an episode of Masterchef the other week so I decided to stick it all together into one magical almondy mince pie. It's been done before I admit but that doesn't stop it from being amazing. I know it's a big shortcut to use mincemeat in a jar but I made the pastry from scratch and 1 year olds get bored of sitting in the kitchen for too long so I thought it best not to push my luck.
Not that I'm counting but I only have 8.5 office days left until Christmas break. *Insert high five emoji here*. I'm working on the online christmas shop at the moment and adding copious amounts of stilton and bread sauce to my basket. I'm trying to decide on a really great Christmas Day breakfast that requires little to no effort and I'm thinking it might be time to have a go at mbakes overnight cinnamon buns. I used to do eggs benedict but I don't think I'll cope too well juggling hollandaise sauce, poaching eggs, cooking bacon, toasting muffins and chasing Matilda so prepping the night before is key this year.
Frangipani Mince Pies
pastry recipe by Paul Hollywood
makes 12, with leftover pastry to freeze
1x 500g jar good quality mincemeat
for the pastry:
375g plain flour
260g unsalted butter, softened
125g caster sugar
for the frangipane:
120g unsalted butter
120g caster sugar
120g ground almonds
icing sugar, to decorate
- Lightly grease a muffin tray and set aside. Preheat your oven to 200 C/400 F/Gas Mark 6. In a large bowl, rub the flour and butter together until it looks like coarse pea sized lumps.
- Add the sugar and egg, mix roughly with a palette knife and then get in there with your hands and bring the mixture together.
- Tip onto a floured surface and work into a ball. Wrap in cling film and chill for 10-15 minutes.
- While the pastry chills, make the frangipane. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time and then fold in the ground almonds. Set to one side while you roll out the pastry.
- Lightly flour your work surface and roll the pastry out until it's around 3mm thick. Cut out 10cm/4" circles and carefully press into the muffin tray. Don't worry about them looking perfect, that's the beauty of a mince pie!
- Spoon a good sized teaspoon of mince meat into the bottom of each pie and top with a large spoonful of frangipane.
- I topped a few of mine with a little pastry star but flaked almonds would also look lovely. Brush the edges of the pastry with a little beaten egg and bake in the oven for 15 minutes, until golden brown on top.
- Remove and leave to cool for at least 15 minutes as the mincemeat will be pretty molten. Dust with icing sugar and serve.