Saturday 29th February 2020
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Serves 12
Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking Time: 20 Minutes

For the pastry:
300g plain flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
112g caster sugar
150g unsalted butter

For the filling:
150g full fat cream cheese
75g ground almonds
1 egg yolk
A little milk to bind
800g mincemeat

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Recipe by Dominic Franks

An absolute staple for the Christmas party is the classic mince pie but if you want to do something a little special that tastes traditional but looks like a showstopper then this lattice mince pie traybake is for you. It’s a little less fiddly than making individual pies and it looks so intriguing. It’s the easiest thing in the world to make, especially if you’re using shop-bought mincemeat. There are some beautiful mincemeats out there; Marks and Spencer do a Prosecco Mincemeat which is divine and Morrisons do a Port and Brandy Mincemeat which is phenomenal and packs quite a punch. You’ll need a nice robust sweet shortcrust pastry, as you want to be able to hold the cut squares in your hand without them crumbling. I’ve used my favourite go-to mince pie pastry which has cream cheese and ground almonds in and is quite frankly the best sweet pastry I’ve ever made and tasted.

Butter a Swiss roll tin – I use a 20cm x 10cm tin.

Sift the flour, baking powder and sugar into a bowl, add the butter and rub until it resembles breadcrumbs, then add the cream cheese, ground almonds and egg yolk. Take a knife and mix until it comes together into a dough – you may need to add a little milk here, as I did.

Once it’s all together, wrap in clingfilm and chill the dough for at least 30 min before rolling out. (The dough also freezes really well and will keep for about a month.) The pastry is very short and crumbly so be generous with the flour and gentle when you roll… plus the flour will also help with the strips of lattice when weaving them together.

Cut the pastry in half and roll out one half to the size of your traybake tray, carefully lift it into the tin and push it well into the corners of the tray. Trim and then smoosh the trimmings back into the remaining pastry.

Roll out the second half of the pastry so that it’s at least as long as your tray and then cut into thin strips – I used a frilly pastry roller which makes everything not only look pretty but also a lot more professional, plus it’s very forgiving when it comes to straight lines.

Fill your pastry-lined tray with mincemeat, ensuring you spread it out well so it’s evenly distributed, then you can begin to lattice.

I always start by laying out all the lines of pastry for one direction and I start at one end and let the pastry strips hang over the other end – this way I know if I have enough. Then I start in the other direction and this is where I begin to weave, over and under. I’d recommend doing a quick search online for one of the millions of videos showing you how.

Brush the top with an egg wash made from one beaten egg mixed with a little milk and bake at 160C for roughly 20 min or until the pastry is golden.

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