Frangipane Mince Pies Tart has all the flavours of Christmas in one glorious orange-pastry tart, filled with fruity mincemeat and topped with almond Frangipane sponge. Optional dairy free.
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Christmas flavours in one glorious Frangipane Mince Pies Tart
Christmas isn’t Christmas without mincemeat in pastry… But the humble mince pie is about to go up a level with this glorious Frangipane Mince Pies Tart. Think all the flavours of a traditional Christmas… Boozy mincemeat… Citrus… Almond… Cranberries, dried fruits, nuts and rich buttery pastry… All packed into one delicious tart.
And because it’s a big tart, these Frangipane Mince Pies come as slices or wedges, which means more yummy filling in each bite. Indeed, mincemeat frangipane tart is one of those perfectly delicious ways to use Christmas mincemeat without resorting to the ever-predictable pastry-topped pie.
What are Mince Pies?
Mince Pies are one of those uniquely British Christmas treats with a bit of a history that I have written about previously. And if you are not from the UK, you will be forgiven for thinking it is a pie made with minced meat… But while it shares a pastry case, that’s where the similarity ends.
The traditional British Mince Pie is in fact a sweet treat… A crisp pastry base filled with spiced and often boozy ‘mincemeat’ (a preserve of sweetened dried fruit, citrus and spices).
Mince pies are traditionally capped with pastry either completely or partially with a pastry star. But they are also utterly delicious with a Cinnamon Crumble Topping and of course topped with Frangipane in tart-form too.
What is the best mincemeat to use in a Christmas Frangipane Tart?
In the UK, Christmas mincemeat is easy to find in jars in supermarkets. They do vary significantly in quality and price. Although price isn’t always an indicator of best quality, I would always advise buying one which is packed full of a good variety of juicy fruit and not just bog-standard currants, raisins and suet.
Actually… I go one stage further. I absolutely recommend that if you have time, you should make your own mincemeat… whether you plan to make a Frangipane Mince Pies Tart or anything else. Making your own gives you full control over the fruits and nuts you include, the spice level, whether or not you want to use suet (I personally hate the texture of the stuff) and whether, how much and what type of booze (or not) you add.
My extra fruity, deliciously boozy recipe for Best Christmas Mincemeat without Suet offers a fabulous base-recipe that can be made from start to finish in about 40 minutes. And the accompanying blog post for the recipe will give you the low down on how to adapt it to make it your very own… Whether you are gluten free, dairy free or vegan.
What is Frangipane?
The exotic-sounding ‘Frangipane’ is one of our favourite sponge-toppings at GFHQ. Made with ground almonds and almond extract, it is as aromatic as it is nutty, subtly-sweet, soft and delicious.
Most often used in tarts and pastries, it is possibly best known as the filling for a Bakewell Tart. But while it sounds super-sophisticated and tricky by name, this almond-cream sponge is actually very simple to make.
In addition to these Frangipane Mince Pies and our rather epic Bakewell Tart, Gluten Free Alchemist also offers a delicious recipe for Cherry Frangipane Tart which we make every year during British cherry season. And an incredible Pear Frangipane Tart with Berry-Poached Pears. The recipe shared here has been updated from its original 2014 posting to give an improved (and more generous) Frangipane recipe.
Can I use the recipe to make individual Frangipane Mince Pies instead of a big tart?
Absolutely yes. Although I have made one larger, long rectangular Frangipane Mince Pies Tart that can be cut into individual oblong slices, it can equally be made as a round tart… Or as individual traditional mince pies.
What pastry can I use to make Frangipane Mince Pie Slices?
The best pastry to use for mince pie slices is a shortcrust. It should be crisp and simple, whilst leaving plenty of space for delicious fruit and frangipane filling.
If you are not gluten free, just use your usual favourite shortcrust recipe (with or without additional orange or almond).
If you are Coeliac or a gluten-avoider, don’t be scared to make your own pastry. It’s not as hard as you might think. And best of all… it tends to be really ‘forgiving’. So, if it does crack or break while you are transferring it to the tin, just ‘patch’ with a little extra pastry and some water (smoothed over with a wet finger). No one will ever know, because any ‘flaws’ will be covered with delicious filling. However, I do have a Step by Step guide for making Gluten Free Shortcrust Pastry that may help you…
The recipe given below is for a lovely, Christmassy Orange and Almond shortcrust pastry. It incorporates the zest of an orange and some juice to replace the usual water. I have no idea why, but adding citrus to gluten free pastry dough also seems to help its handling. But it also shouts Christmas and pairs perfectly with the fruity, rich mincemeat and almond frangipane.
This recipe uses a combination of rice flour, corn starch and ground almonds as the flour blend, which gives a lovely crisp finish. It also complements the other ingredients in the tart. However, the rice and corn flours can easily be subbed for your usual flour blend (although the pastry may be a little less ‘short’). Or alternatively, use all flour (no almonds) at the equal combined weight.
Can I make this Mincemeat Frangipane Tart dairy free or egg free or nut free?
It’s easy to make Frangipane Mince Pies dairy free with a simple sub of the butter for a good dairy free alternative block in the pastry and frangipane. Make sure that the Christmas mincemeat you buy is also dairy free or make your own using dairy free ‘butter’.
As far as eggs and nuts go however, things are a little trickier. Although both the pastry and mincemeat can be made nut free and egg free, the frangipane is rather reliant on both almonds and egg… In which case it may be safer to go for a traditional mince pie or a crumble tart.
If you can eat eggs and nuts other than almonds… there’s nothing to stop you subbing the ground almonds for an alternative nut of choice.
How to eat Frangipane Mince Pies Tart
Frangipane Mince Pies Tart is delicious… The citrus hint in the shortcrust base marries beautifully with the sweet yet tangy alcohol-laced mincemeat. The soft, nutty sponge sits in complimentary harmony with the density of the fruit and snap of the pastry.
Personally, I love just cutting a slice and eating it as it is… Christmas or not. But for extra decadence, smother with custard, cream or crème fraiche. Alternatively, eat warm with a contrasting scoop of vanilla ice cream for a sumptuous festive dessert.
However you ‘dress’ it, this recipe is a keeper. So, if you want mince pies this Christmas, but not the usual plain pastry offerings, give this delightful little tart a go… Why be predictable when you can offer something this good?
Have you made my Frangipane Mince Pies?
If you have… I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment, rate the recipe, or let me know with a picture of your festive treat on social media (links at the top of the page).
For lots more Christmas inspiration, we also have a dedicated Christmas Index… Why not pop over and have a look? For everything else, Gluten Free Alchemist offers you a free on-line Recipe Book Index with everything photographed to help you scroll and drool…
Other Christmassy Mincemeat treats…
Frangipane Mince Pies Tart (with Gluten Free Orange pastry)
- flat-bladed knife
- cling film
- non-stick loose-bottomed tart tin(s)
- sharp knife
Gluten free orange-almond pastry
- 120 g brown rice flour See NOTES re alternative flour blends/pastry
- 60 g corn starch (UK corn flour)
- 40 g ground almonds (almond meal)
- ¾ tsp xanthan gum
- pinch fine sea salt
- 110 g unsalted butter (or DF alternative) cold cubed
- 60 g golden caster sugar
- 1 orange grated zest
- 1 large egg UK large – room temperature
- 1 to 1½ tbsp orange juice
Christmas Mincemeat filling
- 600 g Christmas Mincemeat good quality (or use home-made)
- 150 g unsalted butter softened
- 150 g caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1½ tsp almond extract
- 3 large eggs UK large – at room temperature
- 150 g ground almonds
- 55 g gluten free flour blend
- 3 tbsp icing sugar mixed with a very tiny amount of water to drizzle or pipe
- 1 tsp icing sugar to dust
- In a large bowl, mix together the flours, ground almonds, xanthan gum and salt.
- Rub the butter cubes into the dry mix using finger tips until the mixture resembles coarse sand.
- Add the sugar and finely-grated orange zest and stir to combine.
- In a small bowl, beat together the egg and 1 tbsp orange juice.
- Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the egg-juice mix.
- Use a flat-bladed knife to blend the ingredients until they bind into a slightly sticky dough. If the mixture is dry, add a little extra orange juice (up to max ½ tbsp).
- Using flour dusted hands, knead briefly to ensure an even texture.
- There is no need to chill the dough, but it may benefit from 10 to 20 minutes wrapped in clingfilm to absorb the liquids and stabilise.
- Method 1. Liberally dust a large sheet of baking paper or cling-film with corn starch/flour blend and roll the dough (dusting the top with flour to prevent sticking) to a size large enough to line the base and sides of the pie tin (if making more than one tart, split the pastry dough and roll each piece separately).
- Using the rolling pin for support, carefully lift and transfer the rolled pastry into the tart tin(s), easing with fingertips into the tin snuggly. If there are any cracks, patch with a little dampened rolled pastry, sticking and smoothing with a wet fingertip.
- Method 2. Alternatively – roll the pastry between 2 sheets of liberally flour-dusted clingfilm), before removing the top sheet of clingfilm and flipping the pastry over into the tin. Gently ease the pastry into the base and up the sides until it fits snuggly.
- Try and remove the clingfilm, but if the pastry has stuck to the base, just pop the whole thing into the fridge for about half an hour and the clingfilm should then come away easily. (Repeat the process for any additional tart cases).
- Trim the top of the pastry at the tin edge using a sharp knife and place in the fridge to firm-up for about half an hour.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200 C/400 F/Gas 6.
- Line your chilled, raw pastry cases with crinkled baking paper (see NOTES) and baking beans and blind-bake by cooking for 10 minutes, before turning the oven down to 180 C/ 350 F/Gas 4, removing the baking beans and paper and baking for a further 5 to 10 minutes, until the pastry is golden and dry.
- Remove the pastry case from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.
- Leave the pastry case in the tin, but once cool, spoon a generous layer of Christmas mincemeat evenly across the base. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 190 C/375 F/Gas 5.
- In a large bowl, use an electric whisk to cream together the butter, caster sugar, vanilla and almond extracts until light and fluffy.
- Blend the eggs together in a small bowl with a fork.
- Add the eggs a little at a time to the butter mixture, beating through with the whisk to fully combine between each addition.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the ground almonds and flour.
- Add this flour mix to the batter, gently folding through with a wooden/silicone spoon to combine.
- Spoon the frangipane batter into the cooked tart base(s) on top of the mincemeat and spread evenly, smoothing the top.
- Bake for 20 to 30 minutes (depending on the size of the tart) until the frangipane is set and golden. It should have a very slight wobble when cooked.
- Leave to cool slightly before removing from the tin. and dusting with icing sugar.
- If decorating with icing drizzle, the tart will need to be cold. Otherwise, simply dust with icing sugar and serve warm if preferred.
- Serve warm or cold as it is or with custard/cream/ice cream/crème fraiche.
© 2019-2022 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist