Mincemeat Tarts are a holiday favourite. Try the homemade all fruit mincemeat if you have time.
Pate Brisée (Short Crust Pastry)
1 1/4 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon (14 grams) granulated white sugar
1/2 cup (113) unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into 1 inch (2.54 cm) pieces
1/8 to 1/4 cup (30 – 60 ml) ice water
For store-bought mincemeat, double the grated apple and use the zest of 2 lemons. If you have one on hand, a little lime zest helps offset the sweetness of the mincemeat. You can also add orange zest, chopped nuts or dried or candied fruits, and a little brandy or rum.
1 – 11 ounce (312 gram) jar of mincemeat, or Homemade Mincemeat
1/2 medium Granny Smith apple (or other tart flavored apple), peeled, cored, and grated
Zest of 1 lemon
Pate Brisée: In a food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process until combined. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles a coarse meal (about 15 seconds). Pour 1/8 cup (30 ml) water in a slow, steady stream, through the feed tube until the dough just holds together when pinched. If necessary, add more water. Do not process more than 30 seconds.
Turn the dough onto your work surface and gather into a ball. Divide the pastry in half, flatten each half into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to one hour before using. This will chill the butter and relax the gluten in the flour.
Mincemeat: While the pastry is chilling combine, assemble the mincemeat. See above.
Mince pie: Have ready one-24 or two 12 mini muffin pans(s) After the dough has chilled sufficiently, take one of the pastry disks and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll out the pastry dough until about 1/8 inch (or even a little thinner) thick and cut into 24 rounds that are slightly bigger than the muffin tins. (To prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter and to ensure uniform thickness, keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter-turn as you roll. Always roll from the centre of the pastry outwards. Gently place the rounds into the muffin tins. Place about a teaspoon of mincemeat into each tin and set aside while you make the pastry stars.
Roll out the second disk of pastry and cut out 24 stars and gently place the stars on top of the mincemeat. If desired, brush the tops of the stars with a little egg wash made using one large egg whisked together with 1 tablespoon water. Sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake at 400° F (205° C) for about 10 – 15 minutes or until the pastry has lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature. These tarts freeze very well.
Makes 24 – 2 inch tarts