Julie Van Rosendaal makes mincemeat
Food and nutrition guide Julie Van Rosendaal makes mincemeat tarts. Read more for recipe...
If you like boozy mincemeat, add about 1/4 cup brandy or rum after you remove the pot from the heat.
2 apples, coarsely grated
1-2 pears, finely chopped
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
grated zest and juice of 1 orange
1 cup raisins
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup currants
1/2 cup candied citron
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1-2 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or some cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, toasted (optional)
In a large saucepan, combine all the ingredients except the walnuts or pecans (if you're using them). Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often, for 20-30 minutes, until dark golden and thick. Remove from the heat and let cool; stir in the nuts, if you're using them.
Store in a sealed container or jars in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for 6 months. Makes about 4 cups.
Classic Mince Tarts
Of course, festive tarts are the ultimate use of mincemeat; make them big or small, top with a cut-out piece of pastry (stars work well) for a festive presentation, and dust with icing sugar just before serving.
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup butter, chilled and cut into pieces
¼ cup ice-cold water
2-3 cups mincemeat
milk or cream and sugar, for brushing/sprinkling (optional)
In a large bowl or the bowl of a food processor, stir together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and use a fork, pastry blender, wire whisk or the "pulse" motion of the food processor to blend the mixture until it resembles coarse meal, with lumps of fat no bigger than a pea.
Drizzle the water over the mixture and stir until the dough comes together, adding a little more a bit at a time if you need it. Gather the dough into a ball, flatten it into a disc, wrap it in plastic and let rest 20-30 minutes.
To bake the tarts, preheat the oven to 375˚F and roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface to about ¼-inch thick. Cut out circles with a cookie cutter or glass rim and press into ungreased muffin tins - regular or mini. Reroll the scraps once and cut out small rounds, stars or other shapes if you want your tarts lidded.
Fill each pastry cup with mincemeat and either leave open or lay a cut-out piece of pastry on top. If you like, brush with a little milk or cream and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden. Let cool until warm, then run a thin knife around the edge to remove them from the pan. Makes about 1 dozen tarts.