Monday, November 25, 2013

Mincemeat Tart Almandine

We celebrated an early Thanksgiving with my parents since we will be at my husband’s dad’s house on Thanksgiving. My parents put together the entire meal, but I said I would bring dessert. I’m not the biggest fan of pumpkin pie and neither is my mom, so I didn’t want to go that route. I actually opted for something completely different: a mincemeat almond tart. Ok, so it’s a Christmas recipe, but you can’t have too much mincemeat around the holidays!

This is from a British magazine, where mincemeat is fairly common. The idea of mincemeat scares a lot of people. While in times past it did contain meat, it doesn’t any longer. Think of mincemeat as a spicy, chunky applesauce. You can find it in the stores this time of year, or in the British section of your grocery store if there is one. Luckily I can find mincemeat in the baking aisle of my grocery store. And please, buy something that comes from the UK!

I chose to make the pastry from scratch, but you could use store bought pastry if you wanted to. You might have to roll the pastry fairly thin though. I think you can get by with thicker pastry in a tart, which is good for me as I don’t have the best of skill in rolling out pastry. You assemble the pastry and filling in the food processor and then layer everything together. This tart is fairly fool-proof and it also travels well. It’s sturdy, requires no refrigeration and can be made a day or two in advance. We all loved the tart after dinner; it’s a nice change of pace from traditional pie.

Mincemeat Tart Almandine
8 ounces flour
3.5 ounces butter, cubed
1.75 ounces sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon water

6 ounces butter
6 ounces sugar
4 eggs
6 ounces ground almonds
1 teaspoon almond extract
14 ounces mincemeat

2.75 ounces powdered sugar
Juice of ½ lemon
1.75 ounces sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Have an 11” tart pan with a removable rim ready.

Make the pastry: in a food processor combine the flour and butter and pulse until the butter is cut in to the flour. Add the sugar and pulse again to combine. Add the egg and water and process until the dough comes together. If the dough seems crumbly, add additional water. Gather the pastry together in a ball. Refrigerate if desired.

Roll out the dough until  a circle slightly larger than the tart pan. You will have plenty of pastry; your dough should be about ¼” thick. Line the tart pan with the pastry and trim the edges. Prick the base of the pastry with a fork.

Make the filling: in the same food processor (no need to wash it) process the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs and process until smooth. Mix in the ground almonds and the almond extract. Pulse until the mixture is incorporated.

Spread the mincemeat over the pastry in a smooth layer. Top with the almond filling. You may not need to use all of the filling.

Bake for 45-50 minutes until golden brown. Leave the oven on.

Once the tart has come out of the oven, make the icing: in a small bowl combine the powdered sugar and lemon juice. Whisk until smooth. If the glaze is too thick to pour, add additional lemon juice or water. Spread the icing over the tart and sprinkle with the sliced almonds. Bake for 5 minutes and then cool completely on a wire rack.

Recipe from Mary Berry, via BBC Good Food Magazine

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