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Mincemeat Tarts

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Mincemeat Tarts

 

Flaky mincemeat tarts or mince pies filled with the most delicious mince pie filling I can imagine.

 

MINCE PIE RECIPE

 

Fruit Mince Pies

 

Let me start by telling you that mincemeat tarts or mince pies are amazing! They are some of my favorite Christmas cookies and if you have never had the chance of having some homemade mincemeat pies you are really missing on something.

I had mincemeat tarts for the first time when living and working in London more than 10 years ago and I have been hooked ever since. These tiny pastry shells filled with that amazing sweet and tart, spicy filling are just too good to be true.

I invariably end up eating much more than I should every time I bake them.

This is a repost from 2016. The recipe was part of the Secret Recipe Club of which I was a member of at the time. The original mince pie filling recipe was created here.

The mincemeat tarts are also part of my Harry Potter series, mince pies that Molly Weasley baked for her family at Christmas.

 

Fruit Mince Pies

 

What are mincemeat pies or tarts?

Mince pies or mincemeat pies or tarts originate in England and are little pastry shells filled with a mixture of dried fruit and spice filling. Mince pies are very popular sweets during the Christmas season.

The original mince pies were actually a savory dish containing meat (mostly lamb), a tart or pie made with meat and dried fruit. Over the generations, the mincemeat pies developed turning into the sweet dessert pies we know nowadays.

The origins of the mincemeat pies can be tracked down to the 11th century when the Crusaders started bringing spices from the Holy Land, spices like cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, which were given as a gift to baby Jesus by the Magi.

During those times it was thought to bring good luck and happiness if you managed to eat one pie on each day of Christmas. 12 days of Christmas ending on the 5th of January. I could manage that…

 

Fruit Mince Pies

 

INGREDIENTS FOR MINCEMEAT TARTS

Pastry:

  • For the pie pastry you will need the usual ingredients: flour, unsalted butter, sugar, salt and water.
  • It is very important that the butter and the water are very cold.

Filling:

  • A mixture of mixed dried fruits, like raisins, cranberries, currants, apricots.
  • Spices: nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, allspice, orange zest
  • 2 small apples
  • Orange juice -freshly squeezed
  • Molasses
  • Brandy – optional, if you have it.

Egg wash:

  • Egg yolk
  • Milk

 

Fruit Mince Pies

 

HOW TO MAKE MINCEMEAT PIES?

This recipe for mince pies is actually easier to make than the traditional mincemeat pie recipes. You will need less ingredients and making the mince pie filling will be cheaper and quicker as well.

But the results are still thoroughly delicious, you will not regret choosing this simpler recipe.

Pastry:

  • Always use a kitchen scale to measure the ingredients, cup measuring is very inaccurate.
  • Cut the butter into small cubes, place them in one layer on a plate and put them in the freezer for about 15 minutes, they should not be frozen but get really cold.
  • Place flour, sugar and salt in the food processor. Mix well.
  • Add butter on top, pulse 5-6 times until the butter pieces are about the size of peas.
  • With the motor running on low, add 4 tablespoons of the very cold water.
  • Pulse a few times until the dough is crumbly, but sticks together when you pinch it. Only add the last tablespoon cold water if the dough is still sandy and not crumbly yet.
  • Turn the dough on the working surface and form a ball without kneading the dough.
  • Form a disc, wrap in cling film/plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 2 hours.

Can I freeze the pastry?

  • The pastry can be made in advance and it keeps well in the fridge for several days, just make sure it is tightly wrapped in cling film.
  • You can also make more pastry and freeze it, so you always have some ready when needed. Defrost in the refrigerator.

Mince pie filling:

  • In the meantime make the filling, as it will need time to get cool.
  • Chop the larger pieces of dried fruit, for instance the apricots. No need to chop the raisins, cranberries or currants.
  • Peel, core and dice the apples.
  • Place the dried fruits, apples, orange juice, molasses, brandy, orange zest and spices in a small pot over medium heat.
  • Bring to a boil, turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15-20 minutes until the apple pieces are soft and the mixture is thick and sticky. Set aside and leave to cool completely.

 

Fruit Mince Pies

 

Form the mincemeat tarts:

What you need to cut the mince pies?

  • You will need a round cutter or a glass of about 6 cm/ 2.3 inch diameter or just a little bit larger than the diameter of your muffin cup.
  • You will also need another round cutter or glass of about 5 cm/ 1.9 inch diameter, if you want to cover your mince pies completely.
  • I preferred to cut flowers/stars and place them on top of the filling, but the choice is yours.

Roll the pastry:

  • Remove about 2/3 of the dough from the fridge and let the rest in the fridge until needed. Roll the dough in at least two batches, about 3mm/ 0.10 inches thick.
  • Cut 24 circles of the dough using the larger cutter/ glass.
  • Press the circles over the base of the greased muffin tray.
  • Place 1 teaspoon filling into each cup and spread evenly.

Closed pies:

  • If you are closing the pies, roll the scraps and the dough from the fridge and cut another 24 circles with the smaller cutter/glass.
  • Dab some water around the edges of the pastry in the tray and place the smaller circles on top of each tart.
  • Crimp and seal the edges with a fork.
  • Cut a slit or two on top of each pie to allow the steam to escape.

Decorated pies:

  • If you are only placing flowers or stars on top of the mince pies, things get a bit easier.
  • Roll the scraps leftovers from the circles and cut flowers or stars with an appropriate cutter.
  • Place them on top of each pie and brush with egg wash before baking.
  • In this case, you will probably not need the leftover dough in the fridge, so you can freeze the leftovers for future use.
  • Or roll it together with the last of the scraps, cut into squares, sprinkle the squares with some cinnamon sugar and bake some biscuits

 

PIN IT FOR LATER!

 

mincemeat tarts with mince pie filling

MORE CHRISTMAS COOKIES?

Hagrid’s Rock Cakes – as you’ve just had Molly’s mincemeat tarts, how about trying Hagrid’s rock cakes as well. Rest assure, they will not break your teeth!

Ginger Snaps Recipe – these homemade ginger snaps are the best ginger cookies I’ve ever had, really addictive.

German Hazelnut Macaroons or Nussmakronen – but a bowl of these in front of my husband and he will not stop until they are all gone…

Coconut Macaroons – another delicious way of making macaroons, this time with coconut.

Chocolate Crackle Cookies – so chewy and so full of chocolate, a classic cookie recipe enjoyed all over the world.

 

mincemeat pies with easy mince pie filling

Mincemeat Tarts

Yield: 24
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes

Flaky mincemeat tarts or mince pies filled with the most delicious mince pie filling I can imagine.

Ingredients

  • Pastry (See note 1 and 2)
  • 350 g/ 12.5 oz/ scant 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 280 g/ 10 oz/ 2 ½ sticks unsalted butter (See note 3)
  • 4-5 tablespoons very cold water
  • Filling:
  • 125 g/ 4.4 oz mixed dried fruits (I used raisins, cranberries, currants and apricots)
  • 2 small apples (Granny Smith)
  • 60 ml/ 2 fl.oz/ ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • a pinch of orange zest
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • a pinch of ground cloves
  • a pinch of allspice
  • Egg wash:
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Instructions

Pastry:

  1. Always use a kitchen scale to measure the ingredients, cup measuring is very inaccurate.
  2. Cut the butter into small cubes, place them in one layer on a plate and put them in the freezer for about 15 minutes, they should not be frozen but get really cold.
  3. Place flour, sugar and salt in the food processor. Mix well.
  4. Add butter on top, pulse 5-6 times until the butter pieces are about the size of peas.
  5. With the motor running on low, add the very cold water. At first 4 tablespoons, only add the last if the dough is still sandy and not crumbly yet. Pulse a few times until the dough is crumbly, but sticks together when you pinch it.
  6. Turn the dough on the working surface and form a ball without kneading the dough. Form a disc, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at about 2 hours.

Filling:

  1. In the meantime make the filling, as it will need time to get cool.
  2. Chop the larger pieces of dried fruit, like the apricots. No need to chop the raisins, cranberries or currants. Peel, core and dice the apples.
  3. Place the dried fruits, apples, orange juice, molasses, brandy, orange zest and spices in a small pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil, turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15-20 minutes until the apple pieces are soft and the mixture is thick and sticky. Set aside and leave to cool completely.

Form and bake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/ 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease the molds of two muffin trays.
  2. Remove about 2/3 of the dough from the fridge and let the rest in the fridge until needed. Roll the dough in at least two batches, about 3mm/ 0.10 inches thick. Cut 24 circles of the dough using the large cutter/ glass of about 6 cm/2.5 inch diameter. Press the circles into the molds of the muffin tray.
  3. Place 1 teaspoon filling into each cup and spread evenly.
  4. To make closed pies, roll the remaining dough and cut 24 smaller circles with a smaller cutter of about 5 cm/2 inches. Dab some water around the edges of the pastry in the tray and place the smaller circles on top of each tart. Crimp and seal the edges with a fork. Cut a slit or two on top of each pie to allow the steam to escape.
  5. To make flowers or stars, roll the scraps of dough and cut 24 flowers or stars. In this case, you will have leftover pastry, which freezes very well.
  6. Mix the egg yolk and the milk and brush the pastry with the mixture.
  7. Bake the pies in the hot oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Leave to cool in the tray for about 5-10 minutes before transferring them onto a wire rack.

Notes

  1. If you decorate the mince pies with flowers or stars instead of closing them, you will have leftover pastry. The pastry freezes very well.
  2. You can roll the leftover scraps again, cut them into biscuits, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and bake.
  3. European style butter is best, it has less water.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1 mince pie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 172Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 93mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 1gSugar: 7gProtein: 2g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

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Drew

Tuesday 29th of December 2020

This looks like a great, yummy recipe! I can't wait to try it. I can't find the ingredients/measurements for the pastry though anywhere.

Adina

Tuesday 29th of December 2020

Hi Drew. All the ingredients are listed in the Recipe Card, above the comment section and below the blog post. I've just checked, it's all there.

Anu - My Ginger Garlic Kitchen

Thursday 24th of November 2016

What a fun and festive looking mince fruit pies. They will be perfect for this festive season and I can tell they’re pretty delicious too! SRC sounds awesome, a lovely recipe for SRC!

anne

Tuesday 22nd of November 2016

My mother used to make mince pies for my father during the holidays when i was a kid. I never knew what was in it, not did I want to. Now that I know I'm going to have to try it - it looks delicious!

Susan @ My Wholefood Family

Tuesday 22nd of November 2016

Thank you for the lovely words Adina! I love that you are doing a Harry Potter theme this week. We are huge fans! I've just finished reading the first book with my eldest and have him hooked as well! This is such a homey, comforting and festive recipe, something I remember so fondly from my childhood.

grace

Tuesday 22nd of November 2016

these are absolutely stuffed with good and delicious ingredients! what a treat. :)

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