Frangipane Mince Pies (+ Mincemeat-Free Alternative)

Frangipane Mince Pies

The first time I saw a frangipane mince pie, I fell a little bit in love.

To put this in context, I’m not much of a mince pie eater. If you read this blog regularly you’ll know that I’d take chocolate, caramel or creamy desserts over boozy dried fruit any day of the week: an indifference to festive desserts that extends to both Christmas pudding and cake. If a mince pie is all that’s on offer, I’ll probably end up eating it (top removed, filled with copious amounts of brandy butter then replaced) and I do enjoy the ritual of baking them at this time of year, but getting excited about a recipe? It doesn’t tend to happen. Continue reading

Alternative Mince Pies (Cinnamon Pastry, Pear Caramel, Chocolate Ganache)

chocolate ganache tarts

Flaky pastry pies filled with chocolate ganache & pear caramel

Without sounding like a complete scrooge, I’ve never been the biggest fan of Christmas baking.

My Granny would always serve a traditional homemade pudding on Christmas day, within the fruity, rich folds of which there would be hidden a well-worn thrupenny bit. With a market value of a pound for whichever lucky person discovered it in their slice (hopefully without breaking any teeth), it was the subject of much excitement amongst the children of our family, but never enough to convince me to accept a whole slice of this strange, slightly stodgy dessert. Continue reading