February 6, 2009

mini mincemeat tarts

I made this mincemeat before Christmas. In his younger days Dad spent time in Europe, living in England and the Netherlands, where he picked up some habits that never quite left him. Growing up I used to listen to Sherlock Holmes books on tape and I later read any number of "the classics", including but not limited to, Jane Austen, Shakespeare, Chaucer and of course, Harry Potter. All this literature left with me with a fascination with Victorian English culture, food included.

I've always wondered about mincemeat, figgy pudding and bubble and squeak. This year I decided to do some research and try my hand at mincemeat. Inspired, of course, by David and others. The first hurdle was the mincemeat, and the second was the method of delivery from plate to mouth. Mom gave me these great little silicon mini-muffin baking cups from Williams Sonoma that are sturdy enough to stand without any other pan so I settles on teeny little tarts, three bites each. Unless you're the Trainer, who popped the whole thing in his mouth at once.

Mini Mincemeat Tarts
Makes 16 mini mincemeat tarts
SCD Mincemeat
2/3 c. chopped raisins, black and golden mixed
1/2 c. chopped apricots, about 8pc
1 tbsp vanilla extract
zest of 1 orange
1/4c. water or SCD legal alcohol
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Chop all the fruits and mix well with the vanilla, zest, spices and liquid. Store in an airtight container for several days to allow flavors to meld. If you use alcohol, container can be left out, otherwise refrigeration is a good idea. Mincemeat can be added to fruit pies or as a condiment or filling for breads or biscuits as well as in tarts and pies.

Pecan Tart Shells
1/2 c. pecan meal (or any other nut meal)
2 tbsp butter
1 egg white
pinch salt

Preheat oven to 300° F. With a spoon or fork mix the pecan meal, butter, egg and salt until everything is incorporated. Fill small tart molds (this will make fewer, larger tarts) or mini muffins cups (I got a set of silicon mini-muffin cups from Mom for Christmas) with the dough. Using your fingers, press the dough into an even layer inside the molds. Prick a few holes in the bottom of each shell with a fork to allow air to escape. Bake for 10 minutes, remove and allow to cool on a rack for a few minutes before filling.

To make tarts, fill each mini muffin sized shell with tablespoon sized amounts of mincemeat and tamp down. Bake in a 350° F oven for 10-15 minutes to dry out the mincemeat slightly. When the tarts are cool, flip the silicon muffin molds over and tap from the bottom until they fall out.

1 comment:

Daniela Magozzi said...

This recipe reminds me of a mini-version of a pecan pie recipe I made for this Thanksgiving that I got off of www.pecanbread.com. It was heavenly! I will have to try out this little mincemeat pies soon. Love the idea. And the pics are great too.