Mincemeat Christmas Slices
I'm not a big fan of lots of pastry and I often find that mince pies can be more pastry than mincemeat, so this is my alternative version. It is mincemeat sandwiched between a a sweet yeasted bread base and frangipani topping, and finished with a scattering of snow sugar. I recommend using the pie baker (Cloche base) gives a wonderful even bake and stops the base from drying out.
Makes 12 pieces
For the base :
- 7g osmotolerant yeast
- 75g full cream milk (at room temperature)
- 20g golden syrup
- 5g vanilla extract
- 1 large free range egg
- 160g organic strong white bread flour
- 35g unsalted butter, chilled and cut into tiny cubes
- 5g sea salt
For the filling:
- 125g ground almonds
- 50g organic strong white bread flour
- 125g unsalted butter
- 125g caster sugar
- 2 medium free range eggs
- A few drops Amaretto di Saronno Lazzaroni - Bitter Almond Essential Oil
- A jar of mincemeat (350g)
- 30g flaked almonds
- Polenta flour to dust
- Rapeseed oil to oil the mixing bowl
- Snow sugar, for dusting
Pre-heat the oven to 170°C/335F/gas mark 3
To make the base
Step 1 – Make the dough
Whisk the yeast, milk, and golden syrup, vanilla extract and egg together. Add the flour butter and salt. Combine. Leave for 10 minutes, and then mix for 5 minutes.
Step 2 Mix and shape
It is quite a sticky dough, so if you do have a mixer then you will find this very useful, if not then persevere with a wooden spoon. Mix well for 5 minutes. Once the dough has been mixed, dust your work surface with flour and shape into a ball, then return the dough to a clean, oiled mixing bowl.
Step 3 Leave to prove
Cover to bowl with a damp linen cloth and leave at room temperature to prove until it roughly doubles in size which takes about an hour, however the amount of time needed to do this varies according to the ambient temperature (put it in your prover if you do not have anywhere warm).
Step 4 Shape and roll the dough
Using a small amount of flour to dust turn the dough onto the table and shape into a ball and flatten very gently with the palm of your hand.
Pat gently into a circle 2cm thick, roll to 2cm smaller than the diameter of the cloche base. Dust the base with flour, transfer the dough into it, cover and leave to rise for half an hour.
Step 5 Make the topping
To make the topping place all the ingredients into a bowl and mix until smooth.
* Note that the BakeryBits almond essence is very strong as it is pure essence (unlike supermarket versions) so use it sparingly – two or three drops is all that you need.
Step 6 Spread the mincemeat
Distribute the mincemeat gently over the base, but leave a 2cm gap to allow for it to spread during baking and spread the almond mix evenly on the top - I used a wide kitchen knife. Scatter with the flaked almonds.
Step 7 Bake
Bake for 35 minutes, until it is a beautifully golden brown. Leave to cool for 6- 7 minutes then transfer to a wire rack. Do this by putting a plate over the tart, invert to drop the tart onto the plate, remove the base and replace with a wire rack. Invert again and remove the plate. Take care as the base will still be hot.
Dust with snow sugar while still warm.