Merry Christmas everyone!! I hope your day was filled with family, giving, joy and what else…FOOD!! I should probably add that I’m speaking in the past tense here because it’s currently Boxing Day morning where I live. Yesterday was a great day and at my place, we have leftovers coming out of our ears but I couldn’t resist sharing one more Christmas recipe with you all, especially when I was so surprised at how well this one came out!
One of my most favourite things to eat at Christmas (aside from a baked Turkey lunch) are Fruit Mince Pies and this year I think I’ve finally got the recipe right. Nothing beats the soft, crumbly blonde pastry filled with caramelly fruit mince. I thought they would be a lot more fiddly to make but I managed to wrangle my sister into helping me, so we had a little production line going on. So here is what I did (this makes about 14-16 tarts)
1 Cup dried mixed fruit
Rum/Orange Flavoured liquor/Orange Juice
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1Tsp Mixed Spice
Half an Orange, Juiced
1 Apple, cored and diced into small pieces
1/3 Cup Slithered Almonds
2 1/4 cups plain flour
1/3 cup icing sugar
1/4 cup almond meal
1tsp baking powder
160g cold butter
1tsp vanilla essence
2TBS cold water
What I did:
1. The day before: Place your mixed dried fruit into a bowl and add a splash of alcohol or orange juice for a kid friendly mince. Ensure you cover it with cling wrap so the alcohol doesn’t evaporate.
2. Put your fruit mixture into a saucepan and add all the other ingredients and cook on a low heat (about 10 minutes) until a caramel has formed and the apple has softened. Set aside to cool completely. It looks a bit like this (look right!)
3. Put your flour, icing sugar, almond meal, baking powder and butter into a food processor and blend until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add your egg, vanilla and water and mix until it forms a dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead lightly until it all comes together. Split the mix into two halves and wrap in cling film. Pop into the fridge for 30mins. (now go have some eggnog!)
4. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease a muffin tin lightly with cooking spray. Roll out one half of your pastry onto a floured surface (use a rolling pin or tinned cans if you don’t have one) until it is abut 0.5cm thick (or however thick you like. I love pastry so mine might be a bit thick for some people). I like to use a coffee mug but a round cookie cutter does the same thing, so using your chosen utensil cut out the round shape for the base of the tart and place into the muffin tin. Add about a tablespoon of the cooled fruit mince. Roll out the other half of the pastry as you did before and use a slightly smaller cutter to make the lids. Place onto and prick the centre with a fork. Lightly egg wash (1 beaten egg) the tops of the tarts for a golden colour and pop into the oven. Cook for about 20mins. Leave to cool and serve!
I hope you all enjoy this Christmas classic as much as I do. And, if you’re like me, this one doesn’t have to be restricted to Christmas time, now that I’m happy with the recipe I might have to make these more often!
Merry Christmas x