Yes, Christmas mince really did contain meat once! Now, it’s a buttery, spicy, fruit brew.
I have used ready-rolled pastry from the store, but included a recipe here for homemade if you wish.
- 100g butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 tspcinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 2 medium green apples, grated with the skin on
- 400g sultanas
- 200g currants
- 200g raisins
- 100g mixed peel
- ¼ cup brandy (optional) or use 2 tsp brandy essence
- Ready-rolled, sweet, short pastry sheets
- In a large saucepan, heat the butter, sugar, spices and zest until melted, then stir in fruits, peel and brandy. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is softened.
- Spoon into sterilised jars and seal, or store in a covered container and refrigerate for up to 1 month.
- Line a lightly-greased mini muffin tray or patty tins with the semi-thawed pastry.
- Use a cookie cutter or the rim of a glass to make even-sized circles. Spoon in a generous amount of fruit mince and cover with pastry. You can use shapes of pastry (such as star or heart) to cover half or more of the tart if you wish.
- Bake at 180ºC for about 12 -15 minutes until golden. Leave to sit in the tins for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Tip: If you want to make a large quantity, freeze the uncooked tarts in the tins for 1-2 hours, then remove and freeze until needed (that way you can use the tin for another batch). When it’s time to cook, return the tarts to the tins and cook from frozen for 20-25 minutes until golden.
About Jo Wilcox
"I have had a love of food my whole life. Lucky for me my mum allowed me to play in the kitchen from the very beginning – from sitting up on the bench watch her peeling peaches for preserving or planning dinner parties from her many Womans Weekly Cookbooks. Starting in my local beach café, I went onto professional cookery training and my big foodie OE working as a professional chef and nanny. At 21 I launched my first restaurant. The following years saw me owning a gourmet cake and dessert shop and then a pasta deli before I discovered the world of food styling. Today I work in food styling making food look beautiful and tasty in packaging and advertising shoots, as well as my most important role yet – Food Editor of New Zealand Woman’s Weekly. I aim to provide great meal solutions that are interesting and approachable, and of course gorgeous foodie photos that make you want to cook them! I love the feedback and the knowledge that people actually cook them and have great results. If I can give someone a love of cooking and enjoying family meal times and gatherings then my job is done!" See www.jowilcox.co.nzmore of this author