Almond mince pies with a sweet, spongy topping replacing the traditional buttery pastry lids.
These taste is a little like a Bakewell tart, but with the classic cherry jam replaced with a tangy mincemeat. If you can, it’s worth getting one of the more luxury jars of mincemeat for this recipe. This is because they usually contain a higher amount of alcohol for a deeper, spicier flavour. This, along with the added acidity of the fresh apple, contrasts well with the sugariness of the almond frangipane. Alternatively, you could make your own mincemeat, just like in our classic mince pies recipe.
- For the pastry:
- 100g chilled butter, cut into slivers
- 175g plain flour
- Pinch of salt
- 1tbsp caster sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- For the topping:
- 90g butter, softened
- 90g caster sugar
- 90g ground almonds
- 30g plain flour
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1tbsp Amaretto, rum, brandy or Calvados
- 410g jar good mincemeat with a grated apple or 30g more dried fruit added
- A few flaked almonds, optional
- Icing sugar, for dusting
- You will need
- 8cm plain cutter
- 2 trays of 12-hole tart tins
To make the pastry: Rub the butter into the flour, salt and sugar until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the egg yolk with 1 tbsp cold water and work with a knife until it binds together. Or, use a food processor. Knead a little, shape into a flat square, then wrap it in a clingfilm and chill for about 15 mins.
To make the topping: Beat the butter until soft. Beat in the sugar, then the ground almonds, flour, egg and alcohol. Cover and chill while you roll out the pastry.
Cut the pastry block in half. Roll out one piece as thinly as you can (3mm) and cut out rounds to line the tart tins. Roll out the other piece, cut out more rounds, and then collect all the trimmings up. Roll out and cut more rounds. Mark the edges lightly with a fork. Chill them while the oven heats up to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.
Spoon just under a tablespoon of mincemeat into each case, then top with 2 tsp of almond topping, using it all up. Sprinkle with flaked almonds, if you like. Bake for 35 mins until golden, switching the trays around in the oven halfway through. Cool for 5 mins, then take out of the tins carefully (as the pastry is thin) and cool on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar for serving.
Top tips for making almond mince pies
For a professional finish, cut large stars (about 4cm high) out of a piece of paper. Set the stars over half the pies, and the star-shaped holes over the other half, then dust with icing sugar before removing the stencils.