Mince Pies with Macaroon Topping

Makes 16 pies 

For the Pastry Crust:
6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour

For the Filling:
1 big jar of mince filling (we used Crosse & Blackwell available at most grocery stores)

For the Topping:
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup ground almonds
2 egg whites

To make the crust, cream together cream cheese and butter in a food processor fitted with the metal blade until well blended. Gradually cut in the flour and blitz until the dough just comes together. Gather the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Roll out the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface until 1/8" thick. Cut into rounds with a fluted 3" diameter cutter. Press dough into mini-tart pan and spoon about 1-2 rounded tablespoons of mince filling into each tartlette round.

Bake pies in the oven for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, whip the egg whites into stiff peaks in a large bowl. Mix together the sugar and ground almonds (we ground them in a food processor with a metal blade) in a small bowl. Gradually fold in the sugar and almond mixture into the egg whites.

When the pies are par-cooked, spoon some of the macaroon topping on each tartlette ensuring that the topping touches the edges of the pies. 

Place pies back in the oven for another 10 minutes or until the macaroon topping is light golden and bubbling.

Cool and enjoy!

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