Cheesecake Mince Pies

Cheesecake Mince Pies

Makes 24

Pastry:
1 1/2 cups plain flour
2 tablespoons custard powder
1/4 cup icing-sugar mixture
125g cold butter, chopped
1 egg-yolk
2-3 tablespoons cold water

Filling:
1 x 250g packet cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 x 410g jar fruit mince

Topping:
3 egg-whites
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 cups almond meal
1/2 teaspoon almond essence
1/2 cup flaked almonds

1. Pastry: Process flour, custard powder, icing-sugar mixture and chopped butter until crumbly; add egg-yolk and enough water to make the ingredients just cling together. Knead dough on lightly floured surface until smooth. Cover dough with plastic wrap; refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll pastry out between two sheets of baking paper until pastry is 3mm in thickness. Using a 7.5cm round, fluted cutter, cut out 24 rounds from the dough; re-rolling the dough, as necessary. Place rounds into two greased deep, 12-hole patty pans.
2. Filling: Combine cream cheese, rind and sugar in a bowl. Divide mixture among pastry cases; top with mince. Cook in a moderately hot oven, 190°C, for about 10 minutes, or until pastry is lightly browned.
3. Topping: Beat egg-whites and sugar in bowl with an electric mixer until sugar is dissolved. Stir in almond meal and essence. Divide Topping among pies; sprinkle with almonds. Cook in a moderate oven, 180°C, for about 15 minutes, or until Topping is golden. Stand pies in pans for 5 minutes; transfer to wire racks to cool.

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