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These individual sweet cranberry and marzipan pies are packed with festive flavours and make a delicious change to the traditional festive mince pie.
Now don’t get me wrong I love a good mince pie and usually make at least one batch of home-made mince pies each year. I like them so much I make variations at the same time, such as mince pies with a frangipane crust. But even when made with homemade mincemeat they are very much on the sweet side.
So this time I have come up with a great alternative, Cranberry and Marzipan pies. These little beauties have flavours that I have now come to associate with Christmas and are perfect if you like your fruit pies a little on the tart side.
You are going to love these little pies because …
The Almond pastry
The pastry has just a little sweetness and is made with the addition of ground almonds which gives the pastry a deliciously light crumbly texture as well as flavour. A little ground cinnamon adds a hint of another flavour associated with the festive season.
The Tangy Cranberry Filling
The easy to make filling is favoured with light muscovado sugar, orange juice and zest. The result is a lovely zingy flavour that pairs so well with the almonds in the pastry and marzipan.
The Marzipan Lid
and they wouldn’t be pies with out a lid. Made with sweet almond marzipan these star-shaped lids not only look fabulous they taste great too.
I am convinced if you try these you will want to include them every year as part of your festive fare.
Cranberry and Marzipan Pies step by step
Cranberry and Marzipan Pies
- 175 g (6oz)plain flour plus extra to dust
- 50 g (2oz) ground almonds
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- 100 g (3½oz) butter cut into cubes
- 1 egg yolk
- 2-3 tbsp cold water
- 300 g (10½oz)cranberries fresh or frozen
- 75 g (3oz)light muscovado sugar
- 1 orange
- 2 tsp cornflour
- 175 g (6oz) marzipan
- 1 egg white
- caster sugar to sprinkle
- Sift 175g (6oz) plain flour into a mixing bowl. Rub in 100g (3½oz) butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in 50g (2oz) ground almonds, 1 tbsp caster sugar and ¼ tsp ground cinnamon.
- Make a well in the centre and drop in one egg yolk and 2 tbsp cold water. Mix to a dough adding a little extra water if required. Lightly knead then wrap and chill in the refrigerator while making the the filling.
- To make the filling place 300g (10½oz) cranberries in a saucepan with75g (3oz) of muscovado sugar. Wash the orange under hot water and pat dry. Grate the zest and add to the pan. Squeeze the juice.
- Mix 2tsp cornflour with a little of the orange juice and set aside. Add the remaining juice to the pan. Cook the cranberries over a medium heat for about 5 minutes until all the sugar has dissolved and the cranberries are very soft.
- Stir in the cornflour mixture and cook for another minute until thickened. Remove from the heat and set aside too cool.
- Preheat the oven to 190℃ (170℃ fan)/375°F/gas mark 5. Meanwhile, roll out the pastry about 1.5mm (⅛in) thick on a lightly floured work surface. Using an 8.5cm (3½cm) round cutter cut out circles of pastry and use to line the holes of a bun tray, re-rolling pastry as required. Spoon the cranberry filling into the pastry cases.
- Roll out 175g (6oz) marzipan a little thicker than the pastry and cut out 5cm(2in) stars that fit the top of the pastry cases and place on top of the cranberry filling.
- Lightly beat one egg white until frothy and brush the tops of the marzipan stars with egg white. sprinkle with a little caster sugar and bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.
- Allow to cool slightly in the tin before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.