Making Christmas Trees and Frangipane Mince Pies…

December 27, 2010

So this is coming a bit late as I didn’t realise I hadn’t published it, apologies for the very Christmasy post… post-Christmas!

This year I decided to make my own Christmas cards…

I stole this design (opps!) from my Mum’s friend Valerie, who gave this card to my Mum a few years ago with the plan to copy it one day and this year I finally got round to doing so.

It’s very simple…

First put some Christmas music on, or find a film you love to watch then get yourself lots of card, some scissors, green and gold paint…

Oh and don’t forget most importantly a glass of something warming (I am loving amaretto right now) and a mince pie or 3…

If you want to make this, all I did was cut a triangle shape with two thinner triangles either side to stand it up (I hope that makes sense!) fold into shape…

Then paint a green tree in the middle of the front leave to dry before painting the baubles on (I used bronze, copper, silver and gold on my trees so I had lots of slightly different ones)

Although this is a simple idea, if you have to make a lot it still takes time… but I loved seeing them all finished, like a little forest of Christmas trees right in my living room!

And now the mince pie recipe… I have never made my very own, and wanted to make something a little different and since I adore franzipan and had found a simple recipe in Ideal Home decided to give it a go so when last Sunday my friend Rachel came over, we drank mulled wine and made mince pies… best Sunday activity ever!

This is also when we remembered how yummy amaretto is… like liquid marzipan.

I made them again for my Christmas party and they went down a treat!

You need;
For pastry
150g chilled butter, cubed (plus extra for greasing)
300g plain flour (plus extra for dusting)
For filling
150g seedless grapes
300g mincemeat
1-2 tbsp amaretto
For franzipan
125g butter, softened
125g caster sugar
2 eggs, beaten
125g ground almonds
pinch ground cardamom
25g flaked almond

1. To make the pastry, rub the butter lightly into the flour by hand, add just enough cold water to bind the mixture with a cold knife, put in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour

2. Cut the dough in half and roll it out on a floured surface to around 4mm thick, touch the pastry as little as possible and roll it very lightly, then cut out circles about 1 cm larger than your tin holes
Pre-heat the oven till 180c, and then press the circles into the tin holes and put the in the fridge

4. Make the filling by finely chopping the grapes and mixing with the mincemeat and amaretto

5. Make the franzipan by creaming the butter and sugar together, then beat in the eggs, followed by the ground almonds and cardamom then fill your pie cases with mincemeat mix topping with a tsp of the franzipan, then topped with flaked almonds and bake for 20 minutes until golden.

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