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!).

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