Nothing says ‘Christmas’ quite like the mince pie, but while you can buy them from practically every shop on the high street, I prefer to make my own. Why? Because that way I can make them a little bit special.
Mince Pie Tart-lets are one of my signature bakes. They’re pretty easy to make, but they always impress.
You start with a basic sweet shortcrust pastry – you can buy ready-made if you like, but it’s simple enough to make your own. Just crumb 150g of plain flour with 100g of butter, mix in 30 of sugar and bring together with 2 egg yolks. Leave it in the fridge to rest for a short while (it can be made the day before) then roll it out and use a cutter to match your baking tray.
Top Tip - Leave sweet short crust pastry to completely cool in the fridge before attempting to roll - its much easier to handle.
Next, pop in a spoonful of mincemeat. You can find a traditional recipe here, but I find shop-bought is great especially if you add a bit more brandy.
Rather than closing the pies with pastry, I like to pipe on frangipane, which isn't as scary as it sounds! My recipe for this, was to mix
- 100g stale cake crumbs,
- 130g caster sugar,
- 80g melted unsalted butter,
- 100g ground almonds
- with two egg whites.
Beat them well, until fully combined, then spoon into a piping bag and pipe onto your mince, until the whole surface is covered.
This recipe make enough for about 18 depending on how thick you roll pastry and how much frangipane you pipe.
Pop in the oven for 20 minutes, then serve with a splash of cream – delicious!