Frangipane mince pies

frangipane mince pies

Jingle bells! Jingle bells! Here I am with a seasonal Christmas recipe typically English to match Candida’s cinnamon buns: mince pies! For the Italians reading this blog they are mini pies, filled with a mixture called mincemeat which is made of chopped dried fruit, apples, sugar, spices, etc. You can buy this ready made in all supermarkets at this time of the year. I bought mine at Marks and Spencer, treating myself to the luxury variety which has brandy inside. Obviously the better cooks would make their own and next year I plan to have a go, I promise. Ironically  I’m not the greatest fan of  mince pies. I find them a bit too stodgy and far too sweet for my taste. However my husband absolutely adores them so in a fit of generosity I promised that this year I would make him some as he had had a particular bad experience with a couple of them. But instead of the traditional ones which have pastry on the top as well as the bottom I decided to make these ones which are topped with frangipane. Well, do you know what? I thought they were fabulous. Much lighter than the normal variety. I would definitely recommend them. And by the way, they are by the mighty Nigella Lowson. Who else?


for the pastry:

  • 175g plain flour, preferably Italian 00
  • 30g ground almonds
  • 65g icing sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 125g cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 2 large egg yolks, beaten with a tablespoon of iced water

for the topping:

  • approximately 200g mincemeat
  • 2 large eggs
  • 90g caster sugar
  • 90g unsalted butter, melted
  • 90g ground almonds
  • 4 tablespoons flaked almonds
  • 1 x 12-bun tartlet tray
  • 7cm fluted biscuit cutter


Make the pastry by putting the flour, ground almonds, sugar and salt into the bowl of the food processor and pulse to combine. Add the diced butter and process till you’ve got a flaky, crumbly mix. Now start adding, tablespoon by tablespoon, the egg and water mix down the funnel, pulsing as you do so, until the pastry looks like it’s about to form a ball around the blade. Turn it out onto a surface, press to form a cohesive dough, shape into 2 discs, cover with clingfilm and put into the fridge to rest for 30 minutes. Roll out one of the discs and stamp out 12 circles slightly larger than the tart indentations.

Press these in gently, patting base and sides and put back in the fridge for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/Gas Mark 6.

Put a scant teaspoon of mincemeat into each pastry-lined cavity. In a bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar, then pour in, still beating, the melted butter. Stir in the ground almonds and then dollop a tablespoon of this mixture on top. Sprinkle with flaked almonds and then put in the oven to cook for 15 minutes, or until the pastry is cooked through and the frangipane gold and brown-flecked.

Take out of the oven and leave to cool in the tins for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. When the tin’s cold, repeat with the second disc, remaining mincemeat and frangipane.


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