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Tangy Mince Tarts

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Servings: Makes 24 tarts
"A wonderful recipe which is as delicious as it sounds. The shortcrust pastry really melts in the mouth. Do yourself a favour - make this way in advance of Christmas and leave yourself with more time to prepare the rest of your feast".....Choo Teck Poh

Orange Shortcrust Pastry:
150g (5 oz. or 2/3 cup) cold unsalted butter, diced
250g ( 2 1/2 cups all-pupose flour) plain flour, sifted
25g (1/8 cup) castor sugar ( granulated or superfine baker's sugar)
2 tsp. orange rind, finely grated
2 tbsp. (approximately) cold orange juice

Mince Filling:
4 green apples, peeled, cored and chopped
Grated rind of 1 orange
Grated rind of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp. mixed spices* (See Notes Below)
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 tbsp. water
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
550g (1 cup chopped) mixed dried fruits, chopped* (See Notes Below)
1/2 cup brandy
1/2 cup Grand Marnier or Cointreau, or other orange flavored liqueur
1/2 cup marmalade OR any other type jam
60g (1/4 cup)) cashew nuts or pecans, roasted and finely chopped (optional)

For Glazing Tops of Tarts:
Milk or beaten egg

Icing Sugar (confectioners' sugar)

Orange Shortcrust Pastry:
Rub cold butter with fingertips into sifted flour until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and orange rind. Work lightly and add enough juice to make ingredients just cling together. Knead lightly for 1 minute. Wrap in polythene bag (plastic wrap or zip-loc bag) and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or until needed.

Mince Filling:
This filling can be made up to one month in advance to allow flavours to develop.

Place apples, spices, sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for around 5 minutes until apples are softened. Stir in chopped dried fruits, nuts (optional) and grated rinds and cook for a further 10 minutes. Remove from heat and leave to cool. Add brandy, orange liqueur and marmalade or jam (if using). Use immediately, or if needed keep in airtight container for up to one month, stirring filling every 2-3 days.

Grease 2 (two) 12-cup patty (tartlet) tins. Roll out 2/3 of the dough on a lightly floured surface until 2mm (1/8 inch) thick. Using fluted cutters, stamp out 24 7cm (2 3/4 inch) circles. Roll out the remaining 1/3 dough and stamp out 24 5cm(2 inch) circles.

Line prepared tins with the bigger circles and prick the pastry all over. As soon as the first tray is completed, chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Meanwhile do the same for the second tray. Take out the first tray to fill with the mincemeat as you place the second tray in the fridge. Fill the tarts with mince mixture. Do not overfill the cases (tartlet shells) as the fruits will expand on heating. Place the smaller pastry circles over tarts and flute edges. Dampen or brush edges of pastry with milk or beaten egg to glaze.

Bake in preheated 200 degree C/400 degree F oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Let tarts stand 5 minutes before removing from tins to cool on wire rack. Dust with icing sugar (confectioners') and serve.

Makes 24 tarts.

Tip: The tarts freeze very well (up to 2 months).


8oz. sultanas, 4oz. raisins, 4oz. dried apricots, 3oz. dates, 2oz. candied cherries and 1oz. crystallised ginger.

In the United States, Pumpkin Pie Spice can be substituted for the Mixed Spices in this recipe, or you may use a combination of ground cinnamon, ground mace, ground caraway, ground nutmeg, ground ginger, and ground cloves.

For the chopped dried fruits, you might like to make your own mix with 200g sultanas, 100g raisins, 100g dried apricots, 70g dates, 50g glace cherries, and 30g crystallised ginger.

Source: Choo Teck Poh
Submitted By: Choo Teck Poh
Date: September 2, 2002


Reviewer: Rob

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