Richard Bertinet’s frangipane mince pies
- December 2011
- 36 mince pies.
- Hands-on time 1 hour, 20 min. Cooking time 1 hour, 20-25 min, plus resting
Try expert baker Richard Bertinet‘s frangipane mince pies this Christmas. Rich mincemeat, almond cream, crisp sweet pastry and a flaky almond top = mince pie perfection. Ready for another festive baking project? Try Richard’s stollen with rum glaze.
Richard Bertinet’s BBC Maestro course on Bread Making is available now. Delicious readers can currently enjoy 40% off Richard’s course, accessing all lessons for £48 instead of £80. Offer ends 24 December 2022.
- 20.5g (8.9g saturated)
- 43.3g (28.3g sugars)
For the luxury mincemeat
- 4 medium bramley apples
- Zest and juice of 3 lemons
- 400g raisins
- 400g currants
- 200g sultanas
- 500g suet
- 1kg light soft brown sugar
- 100g candied orange peel, finely chopped
- 50g blanched almonds, chopped
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 125ml brandy
- 100ml Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
For the mince pies
- 700ml/2 x 350ml jars of luxury mincemeat (see above)
- Flaked almonds for decorating
- Icing sugar to dust
For the Crème d’Amande
- 150g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 150g caster sugar
- 150g ground almonds
- 40g plain flour
- 2 medium free-range eggs, beaten
- 1½ tbsp rum or brandy
For the sweet pastry
- 350g plain flour, plus extra to dust
- 125g caster sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 125g butter, straight from fridge, plus extra for greasing
- 2 medium free-range eggs and 1 yolk
- To make the mincemeat, preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Core the apples, then bake in a lidded dish for 1 hour until soft. When cool enough to handle, squeeze the pulp from the apple skins into a bowl (discard the skins). Add the lemon zest and juice, then stir in the remaining ingredients.
- Cover the mincemeat with cling film and leave in a cool place for a couple of days, giving it an occasional stir. Put the mincemeat into sterilised pots or jars, taking care to remove any air bubbles. Seal and store in a cool dark place until ready to use (see tips).
- For the sweet pastry, sift the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Bash the cold butter with a rolling pin between 2 sheets of baking paper until thin and pliable, then roughly slice. With your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs. Beat the eggs and yolk, then, using a flatbladed knife, gradually work into the mixture until it binds together – you may not need all the egg. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for a few seconds. Shape into a square, cut in half and wrap in baking paper, then chill.
- For the crème d’amande, beat the butter in a food mixer or with a hand mixer until very soft. Keeping the mixer running all the time, gradually add the sugar, ground almonds, flour, beaten eggs and alcohol, waiting until each ingredient is combined before you add the next. Transfer to a small bowl and chill for 15 minutes.
- Butter 36 holes of 3 x 12-hole jam tart trays. Roll out one half of the pastry on a floured surface to a 3mm thickness. Using a cutter, cut out 8cm rounds. (You’ll need to re-roll the trimmings to use it all up.) Push the rounds lightly into the
moulds. Repeat with the remaining pastry. Chill for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Remove the tart trays and crème d’amande from the fridge. Half-fill the cases with mincemeat (about 1 tbsp in each), then top with 1 heaped tsp crème d’amande using another spoon, or a piping bag if you prefer (the crème will spread and cover the pies in the oven).
- Sprinkle the mince pies with the flaked almonds, then bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the moulds while still hot and leave to cool on a rack. Dust with icing sugar before serving.
The mincemeat tastes great straightaway, but for the best flavour, mature for at least 1 month before using.
Don’t over-work the butter and flour – a light touch here will keep the pastry light, too.
Watch Richard making his mince pies here:
Wrapped in cling film, the pastry block will keep for up to 4 days in the fridge. In the freezer it will keep for up to a month wrapped in cling film, then foil.
Open-freeze the finished mince pies layered with baking paper in a sealed container. Defrost at room temperature or for 10 minutes in a warm oven. Serve warm.
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