These Frangipane Mince Pies from Neven's RTÉ TV series, Neven's Christmas Special, is the perfect snack this festive season.

Ingredients

These Frangipane Mince Pies from Neven's RTÉ TV series, Neven's Christmas Special, is the perfect snack this festive season.

For the pastry:

  • 100g (4oz) butter
  • 175g (6oz) plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 50g (2oz) caster sugar
  • 1 egg yolk, plus beaten egg to glaze
  • 1/2 tbsp cream
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice

For the frangipane:

  • 100g (4oz) butter
  • 100g (4oz) caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 100g (4oz) ground almonds
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • ½ tsp almond extract, or to taste

For the filling and topping:

  • 400g (14oz) jar mincemeat 
  • 25g (1oz) flaked almonds
  • apricot jam, to glaze
  • a little lemon juice
  • icing sugar, to dust

Method

To make the pastry:

  1. Place the butter or margarine, flour, salt and sugar into a food processor and blend for 20 seconds. Add the egg yolk and cream and blend again until the pastry comes together, adding the lemon juice slowly.
  2. Do not over-work or the pastry will be tough. Wrap in cling film and chill for an hour.

To make the frangipane:

  1. Put the butter and sugar into the unwashed processor and blend until soft and creamy. Scrape down the sides, add the eggs and continue to process. Don’t worry if the mixture looks curdled at this stage. Add the ground almonds, flour and almond extract, and mix briefly.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200C (400F), Gas Mark 6. Roll the pastry out thinly on a lightly floured work surface and cut into 18 x 6.5cm circles. Use to line the holes of non-stick bun tins (or if you’re tins are a little oil give each hole a light spray of oil).
  3. Spoon a teaspoon of mincemeat into each tartlet and top with the frangipane mixture. There is no need to spread the mixture flat as it will level out in the oven (but do not overfill the tins).
  4. Sprinkle a few flaked almonds on top of each one. Bake for 15-17 minutes, watching carefully. Remove from the tins and allow to cool a little on a wire rack.
  5. Dilute the apricot jam with a little lemon juice or water and bring to the boil. Brush each warm tartlet with glaze. Like traditional mince pies, these are best served warm with a light dusting of icing sugar.

Variation: If you want to make a large tart, you can use the exact quantity above to fill a 23cm loose-bottomed tin, which will take about 25 minutes in the preheated oven.

Note: If you want to make these delicious mince pies in advance complete to the end of stage for up to three days ahead. Refresh in a moderate oven at 180C (350F), Gas Mark 4 for 8-10 minutes, then glaze. Freeze the mince pies at the end of stage 4. Thaw at room temperature for 2-3 hours, then arm through in the oven as described below before glazing.

Serving Size: Makes 18