Chef's Delight: Mince Pies
A WORD FROM THE CHEF
To make Mince pies there are three components involved - the pastry, the spiced mincemeat filling and frangipane topping. Initially it is a lot of preparation but certainly worth the effort. This sweet shortcrust pastry can be used as a base for many recipes. This recipe is typical of any shortcrust pastry .
For the pastry:
225g plain white flour blend
50g icing sugar
150g cold butter, cubed
One egg, beaten
For the frangipane filling:
200g butter, softened
200g icing sugar
200g ground almonds
40g plain white flour
Four eggs, separated
Mix the flour, icing sugar together in a large bowl. Rub in the cold butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. It’s important that the butter is cool and not at room temperature, as the pastry will be tough if the butter is soft.
Make a well in the centre of the pastry and add the beaten egg. Combine all of the ingredients by hand, but try to work quickly to prevent the pastry from becoming too greasy. This mixture can be quite wet when it’s mixed but, once it’s rested, it’s easy to use.
Once combined, form the dough into a ball, wrap in cling film and leave to rest for at least one hour in the fridge. It’s also worth resting the dough for 20–30 minutes in the fridge after you line a flan tin and before filling it to reduce the possibility of shrinkage.
Remove the pastry from the fridge, roll it out on a lightly floured work surface and use it to line greased bun tins or very small individual mini muffin tins. Once lined return to the fridge for 20–30 minutes.
While the pastry is resting you can prepare the frangipane.
To make the frangipane, cream the butter and icing sugar together. Mix the flour with the ground almonds in a separate bowl.
Add the egg yolks to the butter mixture along with half of the flour mixture and combine well. Add the egg whites along with the remaining flour and mix well again, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
Preheat the oven to 185°C.
Once the pastry cases have rested, remove from the fridge, place a spoon of mince into each of the pastry cases, followed by a large teaspoon of frangipane on top. You can sprinkle with flaked almond as decoration if you wish.
Once the tray is completed, bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes.
ABOUT THE CHEF
Gearoid Lynch is the proprietor of the award-winning Olde Post Inn in Cloverhill and regarded as one of the best ‘gluten free’ chefs in the country. He has also recently opened The Duck Inn at the Imperial Bar, Cavan Town.
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