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Make Chantelle Nicholson's frangipane mince pies

The chef-patron of Tredwell's knows a thing or two about pastry, and here she shares her recipe for frangipane mince pies

Makes 12

Preparation time 20 mins

Cooking time 15 mins

Mince pies are undoubtedly one of the joys of Christmas – and even more so when they're homemade. We persuade Chantelle Nicholson, pastry pro and chef-patron of Tredwell's, to share her recipe with us.

Ingredients

Mince mix

  • 1 large cooking apple, grated
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 100g pitted prunes, finely chopped, soaked in 100ml brandy
  • 50g dried cranberries, finely chopped
  • 1 whole nutmeg, grated
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 1 tsp black treacle
  • 500g Christmas fruit mince

Frangipane

  • 100g butter, softened
  • 100g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 50g flour
  • 25g amaretto (or a drop or two of almond essence)

Pastry

  • 215g soft butter
  • 285g caster sugar
  • 565g strong flour
  • 15g baking powder
  • 7g salt
  • 250g double cream

Method

Chantelle Nicholson's frangipane mince pies
  1. Mix butter and sugar in a mixer on slow speed until just mixed.
  2. Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt together. Add half of the flour mix to the sugar and butter and mix until a smooth paste.
  3. Add rest of flour and bring to breadcrumb stage. Mix in double cream slowly until a smooth dough if formed (the dough may not take all the double cream).
  4. Turn out onto a bench, knead a little then clingfilm and rest for 2 hours before using.
  5. Dip the sweet paste in flour then place on a sheet of baking paper. Roll out to approximately 3mm thick then flour well and leave to rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove and, using a circle cutter, cut out the desired circle sizes you require.
  7. For the mince mix; combine all ingredients and set aside ideally marinate for as long as possible but at least overnight. Puree ⅓ of the mix then add back to the chunky mix.
  8. For the frangipane; cream the butter and sugar then fold in the remaining ingredients and combine well. Place into a piping bag and set aside.
  9. To assemble the tarts; preheat your oven to 180°C. Line the tart cases with the pastry disc then 2/3 fill with the mince mix.
  10. Pipe a good dollop of frangipane on top then place in the oven until the frangipane turns a pale golden colour (approximately 15 minutes).
  11. If you wish; douse with a good splash of amaretto when they come out of the oven; then leave to cool (if you can!).