Christmas: Hazelnut Frangipane Tart with Quince Hazelnut Mincemeat

Quince Hazelnut Mincemeat Frangipane Tart (0066) by Meeta K. Wolff

Have you all bought and packed your Christmas presents yet? Just 10 days till the big day, you know.

This whole week we have been getting deliveries from various sources bringing boxes of diverse items and with each new delivery the excitement intensifies. Keeping it all a secret is the most interesting part. 

I hope I am forgiven for all the fibs I have told the past few days. See my 9-year old son still believes in Santa and I have no heart to break the news to him yet. He not only firmly believes that somewhere up in northern Scandinavia, a large man dressed in red with a thick, bushy white beard is in charge of single handedly delivering Christmas presents to millions of children around the world each year, but he is so steadfast in his faith that he will argue with anyone who denies the existence of ole Santa. 

Earlier this week I eavesdropped on a discussion he was having with two of his girlfriends, who were trying to convince him that Santa does not exist. Instead of being intimidated by the girls he resolutely argued his case, bringing forward facts and stringing the stories in such a perfect manner, I swear, I saw the girls waver in their own faith.

Quince Hazelnut Mincemeat Frangipane Tart (0076) by Meeta K. Wolff

I admit there is a large grey zone in the Santa theory and when Soeren was younger I often tried to evade the many discussions about Santa, I believed that a child of 3 or 4 years old did not need to be concerned about omnipotent mythical figures like Santa making judgments about behavior issues.

On the flip side however, pretending to call Santa to spill the beans has often stopped many a tantrums in mid-stride. Essentially, we have tried to convey the true spirit of Christmas: good will, peace and love towards fellow human beings and that it is a time to celebrate with family and friends. And, of course we had no desire to withhold all the magic associated with the holiday season from him. Christmas trees, Advent calendars, baubles and sparkly lights, Wham’s Last Christmas, Santa’s cookie and milk tray and the colorful wrapped presents are all part of the magic. What’s more, hand on heart, I will admit that I love that magic surrounding this time of year.

So, yes I have fibbed these past few days, but I am hoping to keep the magic of Christmas alive for just a little longer and Santa is most definitely a part of Christmas magic

The paradox in this story however is that while he keeps his boyish faith in a make believe figure, at school they are taking leaps towards maturity. With the current topic in school being puberty and sexuality his interest has taken a new path. While we write letters to Santa, sending him our thanks, appreciation for all he does and the gift list, we are revising for a test, about topics like pregnancy, sex and menstruation – keeping the balance for the real and make believe has probably never been so challenging!

Quince Hazelnut Mincemeat Frangipane Tart (0063) by Meeta K. Wolff

In comparison, this tart is perfect in its simplicity, it has all the magic needed to be a divine Christmas dessert and the best part – it tastes incredible. The idea for the tart is not new; I used the famous Bakewell tart for the basic concept jazzing it up to be fit for the Christmas table. Instead of a preserve or jam, I used last week’s recipe of Buttery Quince Hazelnut and Cognac Mincemeat, which is spread over flaky shortcrust pastry and topping this, is a rich frangipane made of hazelnuts. Magical! Wouldn’t you say?

Recipe: Hazelnut Frangipane Tart with Quince Hazelnut Mincemeat

Printable version of recipe here

 Quince Hazelnut Mincemeat Frangipane Tart (0066) by Meeta K. Wolff

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

For the shortcrust pastry

  • 225g all-purpose flour
  • 100g butter, cold and diced
  • Pinch of salt
For the tart


  1. For the shortcrust pastry, sieve the flour into a large bowl, add the butter and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

  2. Sprinkle in the salt, then add 2-3 tbsp water and mix to a firm dough. Knead the dough briefly and gently on a floured surface. Wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to about 5mm thick. Line a 25cm diameter flat tart pan. Press the pastry in firmly and leave the excess hanging over the edge. Place pan in refrigerator and chill until the filling is prepared.

  3. Preheat oven to 160 degrees C.

  4. Make the frangipane by pulsing the hazelnuts and 100g sugar in a food processor, making sure not to over-process as the nuts become oily. Transfer the hazelnuts and sugar into a mixing bowl.

  5. Add butter and remaining sugar into the food processor and blend until light, then gradually add the eggs and the vanilla extract as the mixture is processed. Add the egg mixture to the hazelnut and mix well.

  6. Trim the edges of the chilled pastry. Spread the mincemeat across the pastry base. Drop spoonfuls of the frangipane over the surface and spread with a spatula. Scatter with the flaked hazelnuts and bake for about 60 -75 minutes, or until top is golden and puffed.

  7. Cool tart for 15 – 20 minutes before serving. Serve with clotted cream or some vanilla ice-cream.


Quince Hazelnut Mincemeat Frangipane Tart (0068) by Meeta K. Wolff

I think I will lean out the window far enough to say that this tart will make a believer out of you. It is delicate and offers an incredible blend of flavors. You can use any mincemeat for this but the buttery flavored quince adds a distinct and special highlight to the tart. Homemade shortcrust pastry might sound tedious but trust me the recipe above is easy and can be made in the food processor, you will find true pleasures in a flaky, buttery pastry for this tart. Think of it a bit like beautiful gift wrapping paper, keeping ones anticipation of what is inside to maximum level.

I know a few of you have made the mincemeat from last week. Thank you for the emails and I hope I have not disappointed you with this elegant, Christmas tart using mincemeat somewhat differently than in mince pies.

In other newsNominiert für den BRIGITTE-Food-Blog-Award

I would appreciate a moment of your time to vote for WFLH at the Food Blog Awards 2011 by Brigitte. You can vote for the blogs on page six, enter the captcha then hit “Abstimmen.” 

P2P badge-Somerset V1_15.11.11

Registrations to the third From Plate to Page are open we have a few spots free, so come on over and check out our incredible programme, take in the beauty of our venue and register here. It makes an awesome Christmas present, especially if you have always wanted to hone your skills in food writing and photography, From Plate to Page is the only intensive workshop that provides you with both. Read what past participants have said about our workshop!

More Christmas dessert ideas from WFLH:

Caramel Cake with Caramelized Butter Frosting The Opera Cake Quark Vanilla Panna Cotta with Star Anise Cranberry Compote and Spiced Pecan Brittle

All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2011 Meeta Khurana Wolff unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

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  1. Oh, how I wish I was in your home, reveling in the excitement and preparing gifts, the tree and sweetmeats for the holiday. I love this post, all about Soeren and his growing up while holding onto childhood. And how lucky to have a mother who makes these amazing holiday treats. Gorgeous tart and I love the romantic shades of purple and silver gray...

  2. Mindblowing! That combination is so original. What a tempting and beautiful tart. Great Xmassy clicks.

    Will vote for you...



  3. I believe in magic, I believe in Santa, I believe in elves helping him with the Christmas presents... I'ma child inside, I think it's good also for the grown-ups to keep a sparkle of childhood and magic in their hearts, it helps a lot to deal with life!
    ..and in this moment, I believe in the absolute deliciousness of this tart!

  4. Wow, that looks delicious. I think I'll be adding this to my Christmas menu.

  5. What elegance and delight. This tart, all tarted up in regal purples and holiday fair, inviting you to dive in, and taste devine bliss.

    A wonderous creation!

    And, just so you know.. as you are teaching the underlying joys and magic of Christmas with love the message will be held in Soeren's heart forever. Or at least that's how it turned out for my children now grown up, but still believing in the magic.

    PS. Soeren doesn't read your blog does he? ;-)

  6. hah - I PRETENDED to believe in Santa for years longer than strictly necessary because I liked the idea of an extra stash of presents!! ;o) Love the recipe and this very Christmassy take on a Bakewell (and love the ribbon!) #propenvy!

  7. Seems as though are children are moved towards maturity so fast these days, well even when mine were younger. Your tart is just delightful, and gorgeous photos as always :)

  8. What a rich mix of colours!! I love Royal Purple

  9. It's so sweet when children still believe in Santa. Oh to be that young again when life seemed so much simpler and more magical!!!!

    Your tart looks absolutely divine Meeta, and your photos are absolutely spectacular!

  10. That's wonderful that he stills believes in the magic of Christmas. Hope he holds onto to that for as long as he can.

  11. I think I believed in Santa til I was about 10 and even after I found out I still loved pretending with my little brother until he knew. Now I enjoy stringing up lights in our home and enjoying the magic of the season and the delicious treats that we bake to celebrate with family and friends (really the gifts are secondary to being able to spend time with those we love). I hope he enjoys Christmas just as much even when he knows Santa's not real there's still a certain magic to this time of the year.

    So, only this tart - ah-mazing! I saw your mincemeat recipe earlier and I can't wait to try it, although I have alot of my own cranberry fruitmince to get through first. Maybe it'll be a good excuse to make fruit mince earlier next year and then make this tart - I think it's a winner.

  12. Lovely post...this is the real magic of Christmas!

  13. Simply loved the were awesome..the purply props were too good and goes well with the festive post !!!

  14. This tart looks amazing! I can't wait to try this recipe.

  15. I totally love the spirit of Santa. While here he doesn't play a very large role I always thought Santa had so much more magic then Sinterklaas! And haha, last Christmas from Wham is always giving me that real Christmas feeling!! Love the pie Meeta!

  16. Phenomenal dessert. I haven't had mincemeat sinceI was a child. It's nice that Soren still gets to enjoy the magic of Christmas!

  17. Dear Meeta,

    awesome post.....soeren's a big boy now....Its amazing u have taken us through all these years with ur wonderful stories!!!!Merry christmas to u and family!!!!I love this photograph....very creative!!!!!

    Hugs from ohio,


  18. my Christmas shopping is nt finished yet..cause everytime my 9 year old daughter see something,she says, "i need tell this one to Santa"..Santa needs to come my place in lorry..

  19. Hello Meeta,

    Hope you enjoyed Christmas as we enjoyed ours. I tried your tart but I used almonds instead of Hazelnuts and we do not find any quince in Malta so I did the mince with apples only and it tasted really delicious. Thanks for sharing this recipe.Olivia(she is my daughter) was lucky to be one of the participants in your workshop from Plate2Page.We are all mad about good food. Happy New Year from Malta.

  20. Thanks for all your awesome comments - so cool to see many still believe in Santa ;o) Hope he was good to you all. Glad you are liking this tart idea it's a simple yet ingenious recipe perfect for Christmas!

    Catherine - so glad you tried this and like it. Olivia became a cherished person at the P2P in Tuscany with her hearty gorgeous smile! Hope you all had a great start to the new year!


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