Notes: Mincemeat Tarts are a favourite of Jay’s and he’s just about due for another batch. Try the homemade all fruit mincemeat if you have time. For the store bought mincemeat, I double the amount of grated apple, using approximately a whole one and I use the zest of two lemons, instead of just one. If you a lime on hand, the bitterness can nicely counteract the sweetness of the mincemeat.
Pate Brisee (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
Homemade Mincemeat or;
1 – 11 ounce (312 gram) jar of mincemeat
1/2 medium Granny Smith apple (or other tart flavored apple), peeled, cored and grated
Zest of 1 lemon
Pate Brisee: In a food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process until combined. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles 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, in a small bowl, the jar of mincemeat with the grated apple and lemon zest, adding more or less of each to taste. (Note: You can also add orange zest, chopped nuts or dried or candied fruits and a little extra brandy or rum.)
Mince pie: Have ready one-24 or two 12 mini muffin pans(s) After the dough has chilled sufficiently, take one of the disk of pastry and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll out the pastry dough until about 1/8 inch thick and cut into 24 rounds that are slightly bigger that 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 (one large egg whisked together with 1 tablespoon water) and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake in a 400 degree F (205 degree C) overn for about 10 – 15 minutes or unti the pastry has lightly browned. ‘remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Dust with confectioners’ sugar (icing/powdered) before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature. These tarts freeze very well.
Makes 24 – 2 inch tarts
Source: Joy of Baking