Christmas Mince Pies
Christmas tarts? My friends and I after a few too many G&Ts, yes. But for the purposes of this post, I mean the fruit mince variety.
Mince tarts are one of my favourite things about the weeks leading up to Christmas. They become my staple coffee treat and I like to compare them from different bakeries, much to the amusement of Mr LP. He is so over them.
I keep meaning to compile a collage to compare them all but they never last long enough for a photo.
I have been making these buttery babies - stuffed with fresh cranberries, plenty of booze and walnuts, for my cafes for nearly five years and they are now a Christmas favourite.
In other news, Little Pudding is now supplying treats to Joe Black X in King St, near the new Louis Vuitton store. They are stocking my banana bread, brownies, lemon curd tartlets, salted caramel peanut tarts and friands.
If you live in Sydney and work in the CBD, check it out. Grant and Bec make fantastic coffee using Toby’s Estate.
250g plain flour, sifted
50g icing sugar, sifted
125g cold butter, diced
1 egg, lightly beaten
Dash of milk
½ cup port
½ cup brown sugar
2 cups mixed fruit
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
½ cup raisins
½ cup dried cranberries
Zest and juice of one orange
One granny smith or Bramley apple, peeled and grated
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup brandy
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 180C.
Place sifted flour and icing sugar in a food processor.
Add butter and process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Add the egg and milk and process until the mixture comes together as dough.
Place dough on a lightly floured surface and shape it gently into a ball (do not knead it).
Cover in cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 mins.
Roll pastry dough out on a lightly floured surface to even 1.5mm thickness. Use a medium-sized fluted cookie cutter to cut out tart rounds and place into a 12-hole tart or standard muffin tin. Put this into the freezer for 5 mins. Cut out stars with remaining pastry.
Fill the tarts with a generous dollop of fruit before placing a pastry star on top.
Brush the star with egg wash (one egg whisked with a dash of milk) or plain milk to help brown during baking.
Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown.
Serve warm, dusted with icing sugar and try to stop at one! I like them with brandy cream as well but it is widely acknowledged that I'm a chops.
Place all ingredients except vanilla and brandy in a large saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer for 30 mins until rich and fragrant. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon to “mince” the fruit or if you prefer a smoother filling, blitz for a couple of seconds with a hand-blender.
When the mixture has cooled slightly, stir in the walnuts, vanilla and brandy.