It seems a bit odd making mince tarts in November, even late November but I really wanted to do this for Anna's event - Festive Food Fair.
The fruitmince part of the recipe was made a few weeks ago and it's been happily sitting in the fridge, maturing. The fruits have plumped up, soaking in the various spirits and juice - there's been a couple of extra splashes along the way.
If you want to lighten the mixture up a little, I suggest grating a pear or apple into the mince. Take the amount you intend to use and place it in the bowl, add the grated fruit, mix well and let it sit overnight.
I'll be presenting the mince tarts in two ways - one traditional and one with a frangipane topping. The frangipane version I started making a few years ago when I saw the domestic goddess herself, Nigella, make it in some cooking show. It looked so fantastic, I went off and made it straight away. It was so good, I've continued making them.
The pastry is probably just as important as the fruitmince - if you ask Paalo, the pastry is more important than the fruitmince. It has to be buttery and soft, yet thick enough that when you bite into it, the tart doesn't crumble.
Traditional Fruitmince Tarts
230 grams plain flour
70 grams self-raising flour
50 grams icing sugar
150 grams butter, cut into small dice
1 egg yolk
iced water (water with ice cubes)
icing sugar, for dusting
For this recipe you'll need two 12 hole tart tins.
In a processor, place the flours and sugar and pulse briefly to aerate.
Sprinkle the diced cubes of butter over and pulse again until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Add the egg yolk and pulse again until just mixed through, then adding iced water 1 tablespoon at a time, continue to pulse until the dough just begins to come together. This mix needed 4 tablespoons of water.
Place the dough onto a board and basically just mould the dough until it comes together. There's no need to knead! Roll into a ball and cut into half - slightly flatten each half into a disc, wrap in plastic and place in the fridge to rest for at least an hour or until the dough has hardened enough to roll.
Each half of the dough will make 12 cases and their decorative star topping. Cut out the stars when you've finished cutting out the cases.
Cook them in a preheated 180°C/350°F oven for 15-25 minutes or until golden. Let them cool slightly in the tray before removing onto a wire rack.
A taste test reveals that they get Paalo's tick of Pastry Perfection!