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Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Scrummy frangipane mince pie recipe - thank you Nigella!

So unless you have been hiding under a rock somewhere, you will know that poor old Nigella (Lawson) is having a tough old time of it at the moment. Although I've always found her TV shows a little on the caricaturish side, (I can't help but get the giggles and convince myself it is secretly a carry on spin off) the lady most definitely has talent. So in honour of Christmas, and the innuendo rich Nigella, here is her frangipane mince pie recipe - I can honestly say that this is my new favourite mince pie recipe!

175g plain flour
75g butter, cut into cubes
25g icing sugar
1 large egg, beaten

100g butter, softened

100g caster sugar
2 large eggs
100g ground almonds (if like me you are a doofus and bought flaked almonds, you can grind them in a food processor (blade setting) to make ground almonds
1 level tbsp plain flour
1tsp almond extract - if you are using essence, you will need to add more

just under 1 x 410g jar mincemeat flavoured with about 2 tbsp brandy
a few flaked almonds

Preheat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.
  1. To make the pastry, measure the flour, butter and icing sugar into a food-processor bowl, then process until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Pour in the beaten egg and pulse the blade until the dough starts to form a ball. Knead lightly, wrap and chill for about 30 minutes.

  2. To make the frangipane, put the butter and sugar into the unwashed processor and blend until soft and creamy. Scrape down the sides, add the eggs and continue to process. Don’t worry if the mixture looks curdled at this stage. Add the ground almonds, flour and almond extract, and mix briefly.

  1. Roll the pastry out thinly on a lightly floured work surface and cut into 18 x 6.5cm circles. Use to line the tins. Place pastry in tins back into the fridge and chill for 10 minutes.

  2. Spoon a teaspoon of mincemeat into each tartlet and top with the frangipane mixture. There is no need to spread the mixture flat as it will level out in the oven (but do not overfill the tins). Sprinkle a few flaked almonds on top.

  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-17 minutes, watching carefully. Remove from the tins and allow to cool a little on a wire rack. 


If you fancy having these made in advance, and ready to whip out when unexpected guests stop by (Nigella style) then they can be frozen once cool. To defrost, simply remove from the freezer and place on a baking tray for an hour or so.

I have tweaked Nigella's recipe somewhat - I mean otherwise, I could have just provided a link to her site ;) I believe she doesn't chill the pastry enough - this is why I place my prepared tins back in the fridge before filling.  I've also left off the apricot glaze, as personally I just don't think it needs it :)

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