The fruity mince pie is a classic component of a British Christmas. Supermarket shelves are stacked high with boxes of six ready-made ones but nothing beats home-made. Last week I came across a recipe for almond and mincemeat tarts which a friend passed on to me a few years ago. A variation on the traditional mince pie... almond and mincemeat is such a delicious combination........
Almond and Mincemeat TartsIngredients
Shortcrust pastry made with:
125g plain flour, sifted
1½ - 2 tablespoons cold water
(Use 50g butter instead of butter and lard if you prefer)
50g caster sugar
1 egg size 3, beaten
few drops almond essence
50g ground almonds
50g self-raising flour, sifted
1. *Make the shortcrust pastry and use to line 10-12 greased patty tins. Place one teaspoon of mincemeat in each.
2. Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg and almond essence, then stir in the almonds and flour.
3. Divide equally between the tarts and spread over the mincemeat
4. Bake in a preheated oven 190°C, 375F, Gas Mark 5 for 20 minutes until golden brown
*Shortcrust pastry method here
The result.......a rich pastry base and a layer of fruity mincemeat topped with an almond cake topping......
I made a few extra ones with a simple star-shaped pastry top and a light dusting of icing sugar.....
After trying numerous classic mince pie recipes, the one which I discovered last year in a Waitrose weekly paper is a definite favourite. Cranberries and fresh apple are added to a jar of mincemeat giving the pies a really fresh and fruity taste and the pastry just melts in the mouth. Recipe here
PS A scoop of brandy butter is the perfect accompaniment to mince pies. I like to make it fresh on Chrismas Eve and here's the recipe I'll be using ..... I love the way it melts on top of the warm mince pies! Brandy butter recipe here
I hope your Christmas preparations are going well!