While working in a Cafe close to Christmas one year I was asked to make some mini fruit mince tarts for out the front. They were so fun to make and were popular with the customers too!
Personally I’ve never really been a fan of the traditional fruit mince filling. Occasionally I will nibble at one on Christmas day but my heart is never quite in it!
I decided this year I would make some that I liked. I’m making my berry fruit mince from scratch, but if you are in New Zealand and are short on time, Barkers make a very nice berry filling you can buy in your supermarket now! (it comes in a jar like jam, it will either be in the baking section or by the jams)
I modified this recipe from a couple I found on the internet. You end up with a sticky, tart fruit mince which I could quite happily eat by itself in spoonfuls!
**Make your fruit mince a couple of days in advance of making your tarts. If you want to make it even earlier, just store it in a container in the freezer until you’re ready to use it.
Berry Fruit Mince
Rind of 1 Orange
1/4 C Sugar
1/4 C Brown Sugar
1 Granny Smith Apple, chopped into small cubes
Juice of 1 Lemon
1 C Sultanas
1 C Mixed Dried Berries (Mine had blueberries, raspberries, cranberries and cherries)
1/2 t Cinnamon
1/2 t Mixed Spice
1/2 t Nutmeg
Pinch of Salt
1/4 t Ground Cloves
30ml Brandy, Whiskey, Rum, Sherry or Port (or brandy essence and water)
1. Pile half of the berries and half the sultanas on a board and chop finely. (You could do this in a food processor if you have one – I don’t)
2. Add all the ingredients to a saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar has melted, the mix begins to go syrupy and most of the liquid has evaporated.
3. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
1 C Plain Flour
¼ C Sugar
1 Egg Yolk
1 T Water
2. Rub in butter until it resembles bread crumbs.
3. Add egg yolk and water.
4. Mix to form a stiff dough then chill for 30 minutes before using.
Putting it All Together
You will need;
Sweet Shortcrust pastry (you could use store bought stuff if you want!)
Berry Fruit mince
Small star cutter
Mini muffin trays
Circle cutter for tart base
Flour for dusting bench
Oil spray to grease tins
Heat oven to 200°C.
1. Roll out pastry to about 3mm thick and cut out your tart bases with a circle cutter.
2. Press bases into mini muffin tins.
3. Add a 3/4 teaspoon full of fruit mince to each tart
4. Top with a cut out star and bake until pastry is cooked and just starting to brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. Keep an eye on them though!
Once your tarts are out of the oven, leave them to cool for a bit in their trays and then place them on a cake rack to cool completely.
All done!! These are such a nice refreshing change to the traditional fruit mince tarts. I’m going to take mine along to my Cake Decorating club’s Christmas function where I plan to have a little toothpick sign stuck in them so people know they are berry ones!
I tried some of the extra ones out on my family, they all got gave them the thumbs up and none of them like the traditional fruit tarts. I reckon it’s a winner!
Make sure to check out the rest of my “12 Days of Christmas” posts for more awesome decorating ideas, recipes, and gift ideas!