Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without mincemeat, and mincemeat tends to get used only in mince pies. What a waste! This is a lovely mincemeat and apple tart, which, served with lashings of proper custard, would definitely keep out the cold and add a touch of festive cheer. It freezes well, and is best served hot, as the brandy in the (home made) mincemeat smells simply amazing.... If you make it using spread instead of butter, and glaze it with egg yolk it becomes dairy free. Happy Christmas!
|Christmas Tart with Apple and Mincemeat|
8oz/220g plain flour
2 tbsp icing sugar
4oz/110g butter/baking spread
6oz/170g prepared cooking apples (peeled, cored and chopped)
brown sugar to taste
good slug of brandy
1tbsp lemon juice
a jar of home made mincemeat
milk to glaze
Preheat the oven to 180 deg C, and make up the pastry by hand or in a processor. Roll it out thinly and line a 9” loose bottom flan tin. Keep the trimmings. Chill the pastry before baking it blind. (If you don’t bake it blind, preheat a baking sheet and put the tart onto it to prevent a soggy bottom)
Put the chopped apples into a pan, adding lemon juice and a good slug of brandy. Then add sugar to taste. Simmer gently until the apples have broken down, but not become a total purée.
Pour the apple mix into the tart case, spreading evenly. Top with an even layer of mincemeat (not too thick!). Roll out the pastry trimmings and cut into lines to make a lattice (if you don’t have enough, cut the trimmings into little stars and shapes). Decorate the tart. Brush the pastry with milk to glaze it. Bake until the top pastry is browning, and the mincemeat is bubbling.
Serve hot or cold, dusted with icing sugar, plus real home made custard. No cheating!
This quantity makes half a pint (approx 300ml)
2 egg yolks
1oz/25g caster sugar
10floz/300ml double cream mixed with milk (the richer, the richer the result)
½ tsp cornflour
vanilla – either a few drops of liquid, or some of the paste inside a pod
Mix the yolks, sugar, cornflour and vanilla, using a small whisk. In a milk pan (preferably non-stick), warm the cream/milk to blood heat. Pour this mixture onto the yolk mix, whisking gently until it is all incorporated. Pour the entire mixture back into the pan and heat it. Change over to a wooden spoon, and stir the custard lovingly until it thickens and coats the back of the spoon. If it splits and goes grainy, pour instantly into a cold bowl, add more cream/milk, and whisk hard. You may be lucky!