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James Street Cookery School: Frangipane mince pies, individual Christmas puddings

James Street Cookery School: Frangipane mince pies, individual Christmas puddings

TO GET you in the mood for some festive cooking, this week’s recipes are frangipane mince pies and Christmas puddings – incidently among the delicious desserts available on our Hadksi’s Cook & Dine offering, so if you’d like us to make yours, check out the full menu on the Hadksi’s website.

FRANGIPANE MINCE PIES

(Makes 18)

For the pastry:

175g plain flour

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75g butter, cut into cubes

1 egg, beaten

Frangipane:

100g butter, soft

100g caster sugar

2 large eggs

1 level tbsp plain flour

100g ground almonds

½ tsp almond extract

Filling and Topping:

1 tsp of brandy flavoured mincemeat

1 tbsp apricot jam

1 level tsp of flaked almonds

Method:

For the pastry, place all the dry pastry ingredients into a food processor and mix until a similar consistency to breadcrumbs. Add the beaten egg and pulse until it forms a ball of dough. Place on a flour–covered surface and knead, wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes in the fridge.

For the frangipane, place the butter and sugar into the processer and blend until creamy. Add the eggs and process again until mixed. Then add in the ground almonds, flour and almond extract. Mix for a third time.

Roll the pastry on to a lightly floured work surface. You need enough to make 18. Cut the dough into circles using a 6.5cm cutter, and place in a greased bun–baking tin. Spoon in a teaspoon of the mincemeat to each tartlet and top with the frangipane mix, making sure not to overfill. Sprinkle a few almonds on top of each one.

Bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes until the pies are golden; remove and leave to cool on a wire rack. Glaze with a little apricot jam, slightly warmed. When serving, warm slightly by popping into the oven for a minute.

INDIVIDUAL CHRISTMAS PUDDING

(Makes 8)

250g sultanas

250g raisins

250g currants

3 tbsp brandy

Zest and juice of 2 oranges

2 tsp mixed spice

50g almonds, chopped

200g light brown sugar

100g butter, softened

2 large eggs, beaten

75g fresh white breadcrumbs

75g plain flour

Method:

Place the sultanas, raisins and currants in a large bowl and pour over the brandy, orange zest and juice; mix well, cover and leave overnight. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until well combined.

Grease eight 175ml pudding basins and line with a disc of greaseproof paper. Spoon equal portions of the mix into each. Cover the top of each basin with a buttered piece of tinfoil, butter side down, then tie with piece of string so no steam can escape.

Arrange the basins in the base of a steamer; put steamer on top of saucepan filled with water and bring to the boil. Simmer for two and a half hours. Check the water regularly and top up as necessary.

Take the basins out of the steamer, remove the foil and replace with a new piece of foil. The puddings can now be stored in fridge or frozen. To serve, steam again for up to 90 minutes and serve with a brandy cream.

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