Monday 19 December 2011

More Food!

Today I promised you my take on Mincemeat Tarts. I should clarify that this is not my recipe. I cut it out of a BBC Good Food Magazine years ago, but I have stuck to it religiously since. It is gloriously filled with butter and a seasonal treat. Not to be recommended on a daily basis year round!

The difference in these tarts from the norm is that the 'pastry' is not really pastry. It more closely resembles shortbread. But unlike shortbread you don't have to worry about overworking it and all that nonsense which makes my real shortbread crap! There are only four ingredients in the pastry -

225gr (8oz) cold butter
350g (12oz) plain flour
pinch of salt
100g (4oz) golden caster sugar

Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6/fan 180C.

Cut the the butter into the flour, then stir in the sugar and the pinch of salt. Add no liquid at all. Just start working it with your hands until it comes together in a ball and knead briefly. To quite the recipe - 'the harder you treat it the better it tastes.' In fact I think it works better well kneaded because if you don't the pastry is too crumbly and then you have trouble taking the tarts from the tin without them falling apart. They still taste good but don't look so good to serve to guests!!

Now start taking small balls of the dough, roll them in your hands and then pop them in the tart tin.
Using the base of your rolling pin or similar blunt ended instrument,
press the dough into the tin.
If it isn't enough dough then just add some more and press it on top of what is there.
Do not use all the dough as you will need some for topping the pies!
I make about 18 and then see what is left when these are all topped.
Fill with the mincemeat of your choice.
This year I am going for the well aged last year's vintage in our house!
Roll a smaller ball...
... and smush it flat with heal of the palm of your other hand.
Press it on top of the tart, pushing the edges together to seal.
Brush with beaten egg.
I run a knife around each one too, to give a clean edge and aid in removing from the tin later on.
Sprinkle with sugar.
Then bake in the oven for approximately 20  minutes.

Bake until they are a dark golden brown. They need to be removed from the pan when still warm but not hot. Too hot and they will not stay in one piece; cold they will have adhered to the pan due to the high butter content. Or you can leave them in the pan and freeze them as is, like I did, and then pop them in the oven to defrost and serve at a later date. I'll worry about getting them out then!

This is an alternative recipe to the usual mincemeat tarts out there and the one I like. I like the biscuity-ness of them. I also like that I don't have to make proper pastry and roll it out, etc. Everyone has a favourite mincemeat tart recipe (if they actually like the things!) and this is mine. If you try it, I hope you like it too.



  1. ok. I'm going to be a good wife to my englishman and give these a go. I was going to make a Christmas cake but I might make these instead. Maybe he'll get both if he's really really lucky. I know that he will appreciate it if I do. Any recommendations of mincemeat recipes though? I've never made mincemeat before...

  2. I need to ask a dumb question....what the heck is mincemeat anyway?

  3. Great recipe!

    Shortbread pastry is so much nicer than flakey pastry. Last year, my mom and I made some sausage rolls from pastry in the freezer... turned out to be shortcrust rather than puff, but they were delicious anyway!

  4. PS, I love how people outside of the UK just dont "get" mince pies. Or mincemeat in general.

    Rhonda, its like christmas in your mouth. Dried fruit and spices in a goey suet-y sauceyness.

  5. Now I feel all christmassy! Home made mincemeat already done, so will give these a go later :) for now I'm taking the butternut squash soup, and banana cake cooked and baked this morning off to quilting group for a bit of a faith christmas lunch! Enjoy! Will let you know how I get on with the tarts (especially as the teenager doesn't like mincemeat)

  6. I have a great mince pies recipe too.
    M&S ;-)

  7. Those sound wonderful and well within my skill set. I use a similar recipe for shortbread which also cannot be overworked. I might just give these a try.

  8. Ahh, great idea about the working of it. I make a shortcrust pastry, but I make the food processor do all the mixing work, so I just have to roll it out and cut the associated bits lol Not sure about this whole freezing thing though, you have enough leftovers to freeze?! Ours are gone in about 3 'afternoon teas' time!

  9. Mmmmmmm LOVE mince pies, esp. with brandy cream! Jxo

  10. Oh yummy - my mouth is watering! I haven't made my mince pies yet, wish I'd seen this before I went to Tesco as I don't have any butter...will see if I can pop in tomorrow!

  11. made mine last week and put a little ball of marzipan in each one oh my they are good ,my pastry of choice this year jusroll shortcrust and puff
    never used the shortcrust before and it is really good ..............just me being lazy :))
    jam tarts and lemon cheese today !!

  12. Oh yummy :-) I might save this for a treat when mum comes :-)

  13. Yum yum! This is a cooking blog now then??

    I could get fat just reading this!

  14. Was thinking this shortbread could come together quickly in food processor too?
    Do you make your own mincemeat??
    Loved the idea of the samosas too.

  15. I trust Mr Kipling doesn't use any other 'blunt instrument' when poking my pies!

  16. Oh you evil person - I can't get mincemeat here. I can't get suete either so can't make my own

  17. they look yum - and i love shortbread - looks like another thing on the list of things to do! i usually use sweet shortcrust pastry i make in the food processer - works a treat - but defo having a crack at these

  18. It's so funny you should post this today, I was at a friends and she had made exactly this recipe and gave me a copy!! I'm not a huge fan of mincepies normally but these were absolutely delicious!! :)

  19. These look delicious, and the pastry does look like a brilliant recipe. I'm afraid I haven't made any mince pies of my own this year, but this looks like a good recipe to try...

  20. Yummy...So easy too! I've seen that trick of pressing them into the tart pan with the end of a rolling pin before, but haven't tried it...sure looks easier than rolling them and cutting circles!


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