Mixing old with the new makes delicious Christmas treats
MY GRANDMOTHER was always making Christmas specialties like rum balls and fruit mince tarts and I always loved them. This is a recipe of hers that I have adapted and taken out the suet. They make a deliciously flavoured tart full of natural fruits and wonderful Christmas spices.
Natural fruit mince tarts
250g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
60g caster sugar
125g chilled butter
¼ tsp all spice
2 egg yolks
1 tbs water
For the filling: ¼ cup raw sugar
1 tbs lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
3 granny smith apples, peeled and grated
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp cinnamon
2 cups dried mixed fruit
¼ cup rum
½ cup orange, apple or pineapple juice.
METHOD: Preheat the oven to 180C fan forced or 175C.
For the filling place all the ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a boil.
Boil gently for 10 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Drop the heat and cook for a further 5 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool before filling the bases.
For the pastry, sift the flour and bicarb into a food processor and add the sugar, add in the cubed chilled butter and pulse the mix until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Whisk the egg yolks with the tablespoon of water and add this to the flour and butter while pulsing until the mix just comes together.
Turn the mix on to a floured surface and bring together to form a smooth dough, about two minutes. Press the dough into a flat disk and wrap with plastic film.
Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or until firm to press. Roll the pastry on to a floured surface to a thickness of about 2-3mm.
Cut out round or fluted bases to fit a standard muffin tin so that the pastry comes up about ½ way up the sides of the tin.
You can use different cutters for the lids, either stars, shapes or simply a slightly smaller size than the base.
Press the bases into greased tins and place a spoonful of the mix into each one, top with the lid, brush with a little egg white and bake for 18 minutes until golden.
Allow to cool in the tin before removing. Dust heavily with icing sugar to serve. They will keep for at least two-three weeks in the fridge.
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