Mince pie frangipane tart

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

For the almond and cream cheese pastry:
300g plain flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
112g caster sugar
150g unsalted butter
100g full fat cream cheese (I used cottage cheese, which was excellent)
75g ground almonds
1 egg yolk – a little milk to bind

Ingredients for the frangipane:
75g butter
75g caster sugar
2 eggs – beaten
75g ground almonds
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
400g jar of your favourite mincemeat

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December 2016

On 26th–27th November I was demo cooking at the brilliant Christmas Food and Gift Fair at the Lincolnshire Showground. I hope that some readers came along to see my presentation. As always, I had been looking for something a little different to cook but that still had a Christmas flavour. This year I really wanted to include mincemeat because I love the stuff.

I really didn’t want to simply do regular mince pies and while I was eating a slice of cherry Bakewell the other day it hit me that if you simply replaced the jam with mincemeat you have a very Christmas-friendly tart. The marzipany ground almonds of the frangipane of course works wonders with the sweet-sharpness of the boozy mincemeat and the almond and cream cheese pastry is divine to hang it all together. I think I’ve found an absolute Christmas winner.

I’m using an oblong fluted tart case which I’ve greased well with butter but any shape case will work – or even regular mince pie tarts would be nice.

Start with the pastry: sift the flour, baking powder and sugar into a bowl, add the butter and rub until it resembles breadcrumbs. 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. Chill the dough for at least 30 mins.

Now make the frangipane filling: place the butter and sugar into a large bowl and using a handheld whisk whizz until creamy, then add the eggs and beat in, before mixing in the ground almonds and vanilla.

Pre-heat the oven to 170C fan.

Roll out your pastry on a very well-floured surface. I am very generous with the flour on the top and underneath this pastry – and then roll out (I adore this pastry nice and thick).

Lay the pastry into the case and gently tease it into the fluted sides and press down – then trim the edges.

Spoon your mincemeat into the tart and spread it out evenly, then gently spread over the frangipane mix. If you have any pastry left you can use it to create a lattice top, or maybe some small mince pies.

Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the frangipane turns golden – set aside to cool before slicing.

Eat and of course, enjoy and a Merry Christmas to one and all!

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