i’m so proud of this tart. i really struggle with pastry but this time i had a decent result – the pastry case didn’t shrink or collapse and it tasted light, buttery. it was just as it should be.
i based this on a mincemeat streusel tart recipe from betty’s of harrogate, that the guardian published a couple of years ago. the change i made was instead of using proper mincemeat, i used the fruit from my christmas vodka. the fruit in the vodka was a mix of candied peel, dried apricots, raisins and dried cranberries, with dark brown muscovado sugar – having strained off the vodka, i added some grated apple, some leftover poached quince which i had in the fridge (this is obviously optional) plus some apple juice before simmering it for 10 minutes or so to allow the apple to soften, the remaining vodka to evaporate and to cook off the apple juice (i read that cooked mincemeat lasts longer than uncooked and as i strained the vodka a couple of weeks before needing to make the tart this was an issue for me).
the streusel topping was a crumble mix (flour, butter, caster sugar) with flaked almonds and cocoa nibs stirred through. and the pastry? it’s called a sweet pastry and although it was a bit sticky to work with and a texture i wasn’t used to, it worked perfectly so it’s one i will be using again.
it’s a lovely combination of flavours and a nice alternative to mince pies. well worth a try if you fancy something a little bit different this christmas.
betty’s sweet pastry (makes approximately 500g)
250g plain flour
100g chilled butter
100g caster sugar
2 egg yolks, beaten
2-3 tbsp cold water
place the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter using your fingertips until the mixture resembles crumbs. stir in the sugar. beat the egg yolks with 2 tablespoons of cold water and add to the dry ingredients. quickly mix together using a cutlery knife and then with your hands bring the pastry together to form a smooth dough. if the pastry feels dry add another 1-2 tablespoons of water (do this before bringing the pastry together). try not to make the pastry too wet or else it will shrink on baking and it will also make the pastry tough. wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30-60 mins before using.
abby note: for my tart i followed the pastry recipe as above but added the mincemeat filling and topping before baking it, following this method: when ready to use, roll out and line your tin then leave to rest, untrimmed for 15 mins. trim and then add the filling and bake in a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.