If you watch mince pies fly off the table at this time of year you may yearn for a twist to this little favourite while still retaining the essential taste. Nigella Lawson included a recipe for frangipane mince pies in her 2000 cookbook How to be a Domestic Goddess- it remains one of my favourite variations and is super easy. Ring the changes by making mini tarts or a a large tart. Try to make your own sweet short crust pastry or better still pâté sucrée. You should feel no guilt If you use a good quality jar of bought mincemeat but always make it your own by adding fresh orange zest, a glug or two of a tipple of your choice (Cointreau, amaretto …) and your favourite good quality nuts and dried fruit.
Line the tin sizes of choice- a 26cm flan tin will take a 200g jar of mincemeat plus your additions. If you love marzipan grate chilled marzipan (it makes it easier to grate if chilled) on top of chilled pastry shell before adding the mincemeat- it is a wonderful addition. I make a large quantity of frangipane because it adds a deep topping.
For the frangipane you'll need
140g unsalted butter, melted
140g caster sugar
140g ground almonds
3 large eggs
I mix my ingredients in the Thermomix with the whisk attachment and beat on sp4. You can easily use a hand held electric whisk to thoroughly combine all the ingredients and spread across the mincemeat . Sprinkle flaked almonds on top and bake at 200°C/400°F or baking oven aga for 30 minute for the large tart. Always check for doneness as all ovens vary.
Merry Christmas – filled with fun!