Royal mince­meat pye

The Observer Food Monthly - - Contents - Jeremy Lee

Serves 12 ap­ples 500g, Cox or Brae­burn pre­ferred, peeled mince­meat 500g For the pas­try good plain flour 250g, sifted un­salted but­ter 130g caster sugar 15g ice-cold wa­ter 3 tbsp egg yolk 1 For the frangi­pane un­salted but­ter 50g golden caster sugar 25g whole peeled al­monds 50g, ground quite fine egg 1 medium For the meringue egg whites 4 large caster sugar 250g Direc­tions To make the pas­try, work the flour and but­ter to­gether until a fine crumb forms. Add the sugar and quickly com­bine. Pour the ice-cold wa­ter onto the egg yolk and beat vig­or­ously. Pour this swiftly onto the crumbed flour and quickly bring the pas­try to­gether into a loose ball. Avoid over­work­ing it.

Roll the pas­try out evenly until it is quite thin enough to be moved onto the rolling pin and then un­furled over a 27cm wide tart case with a re­mov­able base. Shape the pas­try into the edges, cut ex­cess away, then place in the fridge.

To make the frangi­pane, beat the but­ter with the sugar until soft­ened, then add in the al­monds. Beat the egg in a cup with a fork then stir into the but­ter mix­ture and set aside.

Core the ap­ples and cut each into 8, then mix with the mince­meat.

Spread the frangi­pane roughly over the base of the chilled pas­try case, then tum­ble on the ap­ple and mince­meat mix­ture. Re­turn the tart to the fridge for 20 min­utes to set­tle while your oven heats to 190C/gas mark 5.

Place the tart case on a bak­ing sheet and bake for 30 min­utes, till the pas­try is golden brown.

Mean­while, make the meringue. In a scrupu­lously clean bowl, whip the egg whites into stiff peaks. Beat in half the sugar until stiff peaks form again. Fold in the re­main­ing half.

When it’s time, re­move the pye from the oven upon the tray and set­tle on a bench. Re­duce the oven tem­per­a­ture until quite cool, 120C/ gas mark ½, leav­ing the door open to cool down. Heap and swirl the meringue onto the pye until all is used up and a marvel­lous scape of peaks is art­lessly formed. Re­turn the pye to the oven and bake gen­tly for 20-30 min­utes, until a golden crust forms. Serve warm.

Richard H Turner is a writer and restau­ra­teur

Above, royal mince­meat pye Top, Christ­mas rocky road

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