Mince Pies are, as well you know, a staple of Christmas here in Britain. A stalwart member of the festive lineup, these small, fruit-filled pies tend to come in one of two forms; completely covered in pastry, or adorned with a star. Personally, the former example is my mince pie of choice, but an effective way to make the latter more tempting is to replace pastry with marzipan. Marzipan Mince Pies look the part and possess a whole new element of flavour that more than makes up for the indulgence of a full-pastry pie.
Traditional mince pies do tend to be very heavy and rich, with each containing a substantial amount of shortcrust pastry. However, in replacing the top layer of pastry with a star of homemade marzipan you lighten things up a little and introduce something just that little bit magical. These Marzipan Mince Pies make for truly delicious mid-morning snacks, or even a thoroughly satisfying post-dinner dessert served alongside the obligatory dollop of vanilla ice cream.
Now, you could throw these beauties together in around 15 minutes using shop-bought pastry, mincemeat and marzipan. Only, you shouldn’t do that… If you take time to make each constituent part yourself, you’ll end up with some of the most exquisite Marzipan Mince Pies ever sampled. The buttery character of homemade pastry, in combination with the brandy-kick of your very own mincemeat and subtle spiciness of your delicately manufactured marzipan will certainly prove too much for even your finest leather belt to handle. So, cast it aside – you’ll not be needing it before the New Year – put your feet up and indulge… frugally, I might add.
Marzipan Mince Pies
• 1 ball of homemade shortcrust pastry
• 1 jar of mincemeat, around 300g
• 100g of marzipan
1. Prepare your mincemeat and pastry separately according to the above recipes – make sure the mincemeat has been given ample time to mature. Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Roll the pastry out until 2-3mm thick.
2. Cut out circles of pastry large enough to fill the bases of a cupcake tray, place them inside. Fill each with a spoonful of mincemeat.
3. Roll your marzipan out until a little thicker than the pastry, cut out one 5-point star for each mince pie putting them in place as you go.
4. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Dust with icing sugar and enjoy!
Cost: If made at home ingredients like pastry, mincemeat and marzipan are very inexpensive indeed. As such, this batch of delicious Marzipan Mince Pies should set you back no more than £1.50.