This makes a wonderful alternative if you’re looking for something festive that’s lighter than a traditional British Christmas pudding. This luscious tart captures the very essence of those flavors and will appeal to anyone who loves the heady combination of brandy-soaked dried fruits, almonds and candied citrus peels.
I used homemade mincemeat (recipe here) but any good store-bought mincemeat will do. The same goes for the pastry crust if you’re pushed for time.
This tart isn’t the prettiest dessert, so a good dusting of powdered sugar before serving will help and it’s best served at room temperature, maybe with some really good vanilla ice cream on the side.
If you’re making the crust yourself, you’ll need a 9-10 inch (22-25cm) loose-based tart tin.
APPLE & MINCEMEAT TART
Ingredients for the pastry if you’re making your own (can be made 24 hrs ahead):
1 and 2/3 cups (400ml measure) of all-purpose (plain) flour
2 tablespoons of fine white sugar
Pinch of salt
1 ¼ sticks (5 oz/142g) of chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Approx 3 tablespoons of iced water
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
Start by making the pastry at least 2 hours ahead. Put the flour, sugar and salt in the food processor and pulse. Add the butter and pulse again until it’s the consistency of coarse meal.
Add a couple of tablespoons of water, the egg yolk and vanilla. Pulse until you have big moist clumps, adding a tiny bit more water if it seems too dry.
Carefully scoop out the dough, lightly press it into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and flatten into a disc. Chill it in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
To make the pie crust, take the dough out of the fridge and allow it to soften slightly. On a lightly floured surface and using a rolling pin or your wine bottle, roll the dough out until you have a round that’s approx 14ins/36cm across.
Drape the pastry over your rolling pin/wine bottle and fit it carefully into the tart tin. Cut the overhang to about ¾ inch/2cm and fold that back in, pressing the pastry evenly in the tin so that you have about ¼ inch/½ cm poking up above the rim. Prick the base all over with a fork and stick it in the freezer for 15 minutes before baking at 375F (190C) for 12 -15 minutes.
While the crust is baking, prepare the filling by combining the following:
2 cups (480ml measure) of mincemeat made with brandy or rum
2 cups (480ml measure) of unsweetened apple puree
1 teaspoon of finely shredded orange zest
1/3 cup (80ml) of heavy cream
Pour the filling into the prebaked crust and bake at 375F (190C) for 35-40 minutes or until set and golden on top.
Cool the tart to room temperature before serving.
*Note – if you have any leftover filling, freeze it for another use, like stuffing it into a puff pastry turnover or something like that.