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Mary Berry’s Star Almond Mince Pies

In this recipe, Mary Berry swaps out a pastry lid for one of golden marzipan. Make the almond pastry up to two days in advance and roll it out and shape when needed. It makes for an excellent festive activity to do with children.

From the book

Introduction

Using marzipan as a lid, instead of pastry, makes a delicious change. Use white or golden marzipan; we prefer golden for this recipe. The almond pastry is just as easy to make as classic shortcrust. This recipe is perfect for cooking with children. Making these is a joy and sharing the love of food is always a pleasure. If you don’t have a star cutter, cut the stars by hand; it’s great fun to do!

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Ingredients

1 x 410g jar luxury mincemeat
Zest of 1 orange
Icing sugar, for dusting
250g marzipan
1 egg, beaten
Pastry
150g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
30g ground almonds
115g butter
30g caster sugar
1 egg, beaten

Essential kit

You will need: 2 × 12-hole bun tins, a 7cm (2¾in) flute cutter and a 5cm (2in) star cutter.

Method

First make the pastry. Measure the flour, ground almonds, butter and caster sugar into a food processor. Whiz until breadcrumb stage. Add the egg and whiz again until a ball is formed. Bring the pastry together and place on a floured work surface. Roll out thinly, then use the fluted cutter to stamp out 24 rounds. Line the bun tins and prick the bases with a fork. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas 6.

Spoon the mincemeat into a bowl. Add the orange zest and mix to combine. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of the mincemeat into each pastry case.

Dust the work surface with a little icing sugar and roll out the marzipan to roughly 2–3mm (1/16 –1/8in) thick. Stamp out star shapes with the star cutter and place them on top of the mincemeat.

Brush the pastry edge and marzipan stars with beaten egg, then bake the pies in the oven for 15–18 minutes, until golden and crisp on top and underneath.

Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then release them from the tins and place on a wire rack.

Serve warm, dusted with icing sugar and brandy cream on the side, if you want to spoil yourself!

Mary’s tip: The pastry can be prepared ahead and kept in the fridge for 1–2 days or frozen. The mince pies can be made up to 2 days ahead. Store in an airtight container.

Freeze well cooked.

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From the book: Mary Berry Cook and Share

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