Christmas is fast approaching and all I can say is thank goodness for the Internet.  I have managed to order most of my presents online and as yet I have not had to face the crowds.  Sadly, I have not been able to completely avoid actual Christmas shopping as I’m planning a little trip next week to get a few last bits.  Wish me luck with that one! But apart from the shopping aspect, I adore Christmas.  I have vivid memories of spending every other year in my father’s Irish family home. It was called Anner Castle.  It looks and sounds grander than it actually was as half the back was burnt down many years ago and never got rebuilt. It has an amazing history.   Sadly it’s no longer in the family but I’m sure you can imagine the fun we had there.

I remember one year being the bravest out of all of my cousins to creep through the dark corridors and make my way down the winding red staircase to ask my grandmother (on behalf of all of us) whether any ghosts lived there.  In the front room there was a big roaring fire which would have me spellbound for hours as I watched the flames jumping and sparking as it burnt the wood.  There was room for a huge Christmas tree and even now when I smell that distinctive pine in the air I get immediately transported back to these memories. I fear these memories will fade…another good reason to write them all down here. I want to create some lasting Christmas memories for my own children so I’m keen to start off a few traditions. Making my own Christmas cake and mince pies being one of them. Well it would be rude not to given my love for all things baked. These mince pies are in my mind pretty special.  The reason for this is because they are not your average mince pie.   The pastry is made with Baileys and they are topped with a lovingly placed dollop of frangipane.  Possibly the most indulgent mince pie ever, but totally justified at this time of year.  The one thing I have conceded on is their size.  These little gems are bite-sized.  Pop them all in at once or sit a savour…and then have another! The other thing that is special about these mince pies is that I have for the first time used and I’ve got to say I was quite impressed.  The pastry came out really well and it was easy to use.  But without further a do, here is the recipe so you can see for yourself.

Frangipane Topped Mini Mince Pies Made With Baileys Pastry

Ingredients

This recipe made 24 mini mince pies and 6 regular mince pies.

  • Portion of inspired by The Pink Whisk blog – use link to get the recipe.  Just swap the butter for Clover Block
  • 500g mincemeat (I used Waitrose cranberry and port mincemeat)
  • Frangipane
    • 125g butter, softened
    • 125g caster sugar
    • 125g ground almonds
    • 2 free range eggs
    • 1 tbsp plain flour
    • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • Mini muffin baking tray greased
  • Normal cupcake baking tray greased
  • Circle cutters to fit both tins.  I used the smallest and largest from a set I have that has scalloped edges

How to make

  1. Make the pastry and store in the fridge for 30 mins
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 180c/350f/gas 4
  3. To make the frangipane mix the butter and sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Then add the eggs and mix until they have been combined. Then add the ground almonds and flour and fold in with a large metal spoon. Put to one side.
  4. Now get your pastry out of the fridge and break off a small ball, and start to roll out with your rolling pin
  5. Cut out small circles and place gently in the mini muffin tin.  If you would like you can use a small ball of pastry to push the pastry disc into the holes smoothly
  6. With the remaining pastry I was able to make 6 regular sized mince pies too so I used a larger cutter for these
  7. I then filled the mince pies with a small dollop of mincemeat.  Don’t fill to the top as you need room for the frangipane
  8. Now do the same, but topping the mince pies with the franipane and spreading it out a little with the back of your spoon to ‘seal’ in the mincemeat.  Put in the oven.  Small mince pies take 15 mins and regular sized ones take 20 mins
  9. Take out of the oven and leave to cool for 10 mins then remove and allow to cool on a cooling wrack
  10. Serve with cream

 

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