Sunday, 12 December 2010

Mincemeat and bakewell sitting in a tree

A mince pie for those who prefer to be tickled under the chin by their mincemeat, not slapped in the face.

These are frankenstein tarts, the result of stitching together the still breathing cadavers of the almondy-top from a bakewell tart and the mincemeat from a traditional pie. Luckily the result is more Robert de Niro than Boris Karloff.

Lemon frangipane mince tarts

Makes 8 individual tarts

~for the pastry
110g cold butter, diced
175g plain flour
50g caster sugar
a pinch of salt
the grated rind of a lemon

~for the filling
80g room temperature butter
80g caster sugar
80g ground almonds
2 medium eggs
the grated rind of a lemon
50g flaked almonds
125g coarsely grated bramley apple
200g mincemeat

1) Place the apple and mincemeat in a saucepan and heat over a low heat until the mincemeat has melted and coated the apple. Leave to cool.

2) To make the pastry: put the flour, cold butter, sugar, salt and lemon rind into a large bowl and rub gently together with your finger tips until it resembles breadcrumbs, then add enough cold water to bring it together into a dough (about 2 tablespoons). Roll it out to 2-3mm and use to line eight loose bottomed tart tins, trimming the excess.

3) Divide the mincemeat mixture between the tarts, using a spoon to level the mixture. Now whisk the sugar and ground almonds until light and creamy, then whisk in the eggs and then fold in the lemon zest and almonds. Spoon on top of the mincemeat, level with a knife and then scatter over the flaked almonds.

4) Bake at 375f/190c/gas mark 5 for 30 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. Eat with a cool, sharp dollop of creme fraiche.

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