Thursday, 4 December 2014

Mince Tart, with Meringue Topping

Having produced rather more mincemeat than I needed, yesterday, when I doubled the ingredients in a recipe,  I decided to just use some to try out a mince tart.  

I used a tried and tested recipe for shortcrust pastry, and then filled it with the mincemeat that I didn't have jars for.

Finally I decided to top it with some meringue.

At this stage I cant comment on how it all tastes, since it will be eaten later, but I can confirm that the mincemeat tastes wonderful, as I sampled that yesterday.

The common thought is that mincemeat should be stored for at least two week, before use.  But having read up on that, I think it is only when the ingredients have not been cooked.  I cooked mine yesterday, so it is ok to use now. I am also sure that using the uncooked version straightaway will be fine, just that the full flavour of brandy, sugar and spices will not necessarily have been absorbed into the fruit.

Anyway, I will post two photos, one of the tart without the meringue topping, and one with the topping, cooked.  You will therefore get the chance to laugh at my piping, or lack thereof.
Mince Tart, topped with Meringue

Mince Tart, without the meringue

I still have jars of mincemeat, so will make the traditional mince pies in two weeks.

Ingredients:
for the pastry:
  • 165g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 25g ground almonds
  • 120g chilled unsalted butter, cubed
  • 55g caster sugar
  • 1 medium egg
for the meringue:
4 eggs whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar( can be omitted)
130 g granulated sugar

for the mincemeat:
follow the recipe in yesterday's blog post found here:

Method:
  1. Stir in the flour and ground almonds together in a large bowl, then add the butter and rub in your fingertips until the mixture looks like crumbs. Stir in the sugar.
  2.  Break in the egg and work into the mixture with your fingers, breaking it together to form a soft dough.
  3. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and shape it into a ball. Flatten with your fingers to a disc and wrap in cling film. Chill for at least 3 hours before using.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180c/160fan
  5. Grease a flan tin and roll out the pastry to line the tin.
  6. Blind bake of 15 minutes,
  7. Remove the bean and paper from the pastry and bake for a further 10 minutes
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  9. Fill the tart case with mincemeat and place in the oven for a few minutes, while you make the meringue.
  10. Reduce the heat in the oven to 170c/150fan
  11. Beat the egg whites until frothy
  12. add the cream of tartar and continue beating until you achieve soft peaks
  13. gradually add the sugar, beating all the while until you have stiff peaks
  14. Pipe or spoon the meringue onto the mincemeat and bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until the top has browned nicely.

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