Thursday, December 16, 2010

Make your own Christmas Fruit Mince Tarts.

Well it has happened again, another year has sailed by and its Christmas time again. It just creeps up on you doesn't it?
Now with only eight days until Christmas Day, the next week will be a time of buying gifts and Christmas cooking for me.
Fruit Mince Tarts are a favourite of mine, I find people either love them or hate them! If you love them I wonder have you ever attempted making your own?
Mince Pies are a British tradition usually eaten between Christmas and New Year. They did originally contain meat, but are now made with a fruit mince, traditionally containing dried fruit (raisins, currants, cherries, apricots, candied peels), spices (cinnamon or nutmeg), nuts (walnuts or almonds), suet and alcohol (brandy or rum). The pie is cooked and dusted with caster sugar or icing sugar.
Here's my organic recipe and a step by step of how to make them.
Shortcrust Pastry
what you need:
300g Unbleached Organic Plain Flour
150g Organic Butter, softened
1 Tbs Rapadura Sugar (can substitute with Castor sugar)
Pinch of sea salt
100ml cold water

what you do:
Combine flour, butter, sugar & salt in a food processor or mix by hand until a crumble mixture forms. Add water and mix to a form a pastry dough.

Divide the pastry dough into two, wrap each in some baking paper and refrigerate whilst preparing the fruit mince.

Fruit Mince
what you need:
200g Organic Sultanas
100g Organic Raisins
50g Organic Currants
100g fresh apricots (stones removed)
1 Tbs ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 tsp Nutmeg, freshly grated
1 tsp All Spice ground
1 Tbs Orange Zest
1/4 cup of freshly squeezed Orange Juice
1/4 cup pure Maple Syrup

what you do:
Combine all ingredients into the food processor with chopping blade and chop to form a moist fruit mince.

To assemble tarts:
Grease a tray or tart cases with olive oil

Roll pastry out on the baking paper with a rolling pin, each pastry batch should make twelve tarts. (making 24 tarts in total from the above recipe)

Take a round pastry cutter or any circular object and a sharp knife, and cut twelve circles for tart bases.

Fill each with a heaped teaspoon of fruit mince.

With remaining pastry scraps, form back into a dough ball and roll out again, using a star cutter, cut twelve stars for top of tarts.

Glaze the top of the pastry stars with a little water, with some sugar dissolved in it.

Bake in a moderate oven 180 deg C for approx 20 minutes, until golden brown.

Once cooled if desired dust with a little icing sugar.
These really are not difficult to make and make a lovely gift to others or sweet finish to your Christmas celebrations.
Enjoy your Christmas time and remember amongst all the busyness of the season, it is a time to give to others and reflect on the greatest gift of all, to us all, Jesus Christ.

For more healthy, wholesome recipes you can Cook form Scratch over the holiday season

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