Recipe: Frangipane Christmas Mince Pies

These are my slightly indulgent twist on classic mince pies. They are exceptionally tasty and make for a great gift. Happy baking!


Fruit Mince

50g dried and ready-to-eat prunes, finely chopped
25g dried cranberries, finely chopped
25ml brandy
½ cooking apple, grated
Grated zest of ½ orange
½ nutmeg, grated
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground cloves
1 tsp black treacle
250g good-quality shop-bought mincemeat


100g soft butter
145g caster sugar
225g strong white flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of sea salt
100ml double cream


50g soft butter
50g caster sugar
1 egg
50g ground almonds
25g plain flour
1 tbsp Amaretto or almond essence, plus extra for sprinkling



To prepare the fruit mince, soak the prunes and cranberries in brandy for 10 minutes. Mix in all the remaining ingredients and leave to marinate for as long as possible, but at least overnight.

Once marinated, take half the mince and blitz in a food processor to a paste. Combine the paste with the chunky mixture.

To make the pastry, mix the butter and sugar until just combined. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and add half to the butter and sugar. Mix to a smooth paste.

Add the remaining flour mixture and combine until the texture of breadcrumbs. Gradually add the cream and mix to form a smooth dough — you may not use all of the cream. Knead lightly until the dough becomes a smooth ball. Wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 2 hours.

Roll the pastry in between two sheets of baking parchment to about 3mm thick. Return to the fridge for 20 minutes.

To make the frangipane, beat together the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the egg, ground almonds, flour and Amaretto or almond essence. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6.

Use an 8cm round cutter to cut the pastry into circles and line 20 holes of two 12-cup muffin tins.

Stir the mince mixture well and use it to fill the pastry cases about two-thirds full. Pipe a good dollop of the frangipane mixture on top and bake in the oven for 15 minutes, until the frangipane is golden.

If you wish, douse with a good sprinkling of extra Amaretto when the pies come out of the oven, then leave to cool.

Try this recipe out for your next dinner party or if you’re looking to celebrate this special time of year somewhere unique, join us for a Michelin-starred Christmas at Marcus.