4 tablespoons (55 grams) butter
1 cup (240 ml) unsweetened apple juice
2 large apples, peeled, cored, and grated (Braeburn, Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Granny Smith and Golden Delicious are good choices)
1/2 cup (90 grams) dark raisins
1/2 cup (90 grams) golden raisins
1/2 cup (70 grams) dried currants
1/2 cup (75 grams) dried cranberries or cherries
1/2 cup (100 grams) dried figs (or prunes or dates), chopped
3/4 cup (120 grams) candied mixed peel
1/2 cup (100 grams) candied red cherries, chopped
Zest and juice of one orange or lemon
2/3 cup (140 grams) packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup (80 ml) dark or light rum
1/3 cup (80 ml) brandy or cognac
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pate Brisee (Short Crust Pastry):
2 1/2 cups (350 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon (30 grams) granulated white sugar
1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into 1 inch (2.54 cm) pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup (60 - 120 ml) ice water
Homemade Mincemeat: Place all the ingredients in a large Dutch oven, and bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring often. Then, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the mincemeat, stirring often, for about 30 minutes, or until the liquid is almost evaporated. Remove from heat and, if desired, stir in 2-4 tablespoons of rum or brandy. Let the mincemeat cool completely, then transfer to a covered container, and place in the refrigerator, at least overnight, before using. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month. If storing longer than a week, stir in a little rum or brandy every week to keep it from drying out and to preserve the mincemeat. Otherwise it may not keep a month. Note: This recipe makes about 4 cups (1 liter) but you only need 3 cups (720 ml) of mincemeat for this tart.
Pate Brisee: In a food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process until combined. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal (about 15 seconds). Pour 1/4 cup (60 ml) water in a slow, steady stream, through the feed tube until the dough just holds together when pinched. If necessary, add more water. Do not process more than 30 seconds.
Turn the dough onto your work surface and gather into a ball. Divide the pastry in half, flatten each half into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to one hour before using. This will chill the butter and relax the gluten in the flour.
Mincemeat Tart: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degree C) and place oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter, or spray with a non-stick vegetable spray, one - 8 or 9 inch (20-23 cm) tart pan. Place the tart pan on a larger baking sheet.
Remove one round of pastry and on a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry into a 1/8-inch (3 mm) thick circle. To make sure the pastry is large enough, take your tart pan, flip it over, and place it on the rolled out pastry. The pastry should be about two inches larger than the pan. To prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter and to ensure uniform thickness, keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as you roll (always roll from the center of the pastry outwards to get uniform thickness).
When the pastry is rolled to the desired size, lightly roll the pastry around your rolling pin, dusting off any excess flour as you roll. Unroll onto top of tart pan. Never pull the pastry or you will get shrinkage (shrinkage is caused by too much pulling of the pastry when placing it in the pan). Gently lay in pan and with a small floured piece of pastry, lightly press pastry onto the bottom and up the sides of pan. Trim the edges of the pastry so you have about 1/2 inch (6 mm) overhang. Fill the tart shell with about 3 cups (720 ml) of the homemade mincemeat and dot with butter.
Then remove the second round of pastry and roll it into a round circle that is about 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick. Using a pizza cutter or fluted edged pastry wheel, cut the pastry into 3/4 inch (2 cm) wide strips. Using an offset spatula gently transfer the strips to the tart pan. Lay the strips, evenly spaced, across the tart and then turn the pan a quarter turn and lay the remaining strips across the first strips so you have a lattice pattern. Seal and trim the edges of the strips to fit the tart pan.
Bake for about 45 minutes or until the pastry has lightly browned. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream. This tart can be frozen.
Serves about 8-10 people.
Baking plays an important role during the holiday season. Not only do we give cookies, cakes, candy, pies and tarts as gifts, they are also part of our celebrations. Every family has their own traditions and for me, Thanksgiving and Christmas would not be complete without a Mincemeat Tart.
This beautiful two crusted Mincemeat Tart is filled with a spicy yet sweet vegetarian-style homemade mincemeat (you can use store bought mincemeat). In the beginning Mincemeat was made with meat (hence the name), along with eggs, dried fruits and spices. Over time, beef suet (kidney fat) came to replace the meat and the eggs were dropped completely from the recipe. Today's mincemeat is thought of as a spicy preserve consisting of a mixture of dried and candied fruits, apples, and spices (with or without beef suet) that are heavily laced with brandy and/or rum. Now, the recipe given here does not contain beef suet, which the health conscious will appreciate. Instead we just add a little butter. Mincemeat is often made by just mixing all the ingredients together and then letting it macerate in jars for several weeks. However, this recipe is a little different in that it is first stewed which allows all the fruits to absorb the liquid and become wonderfully soft and plump. The great part about this recipe is that the mincemeat is ready to use the day after it's made.
This Mincemeat Tart uses a short crust pastry, called Pate Brisee, as its buttery flavor and crumbly texture pairs well with the mincemeat. You can, however, use another type of pastry crust, or even a store bought one if you like. The top crust has a lattice design which not only looks beautiful but it allows us to see the mincemeat underneath. Of course, a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream would go very nicely with a warm slice of this tart.