This Mincemeat Tart recipe is a lovely twist on a classic British dessert. Just like a mini mincemeat pie recipe, it’s a fun take on a timeless classic. Mincemeat pies have been a staple of Christmas and Thanksgiving dessert tables for generations.
I am a lucky gal.
I have been blessed with a handful of really great friends with whom I have created some wonderful memories and with whom I look forward to creating more memories. Some of my girlfriends are local, some are several hours away and one is an ocean away, in northern England.
I met my girlfriend Annie 10 years ago when her family lived in Wilmington. Originally from England, they were temporarily located in the United States and, through sheer kismet, moved down the street from us. Our introduction was through our daughters, who met on our local swim team and after that became inseparable.
In the 3 years that we knew Annie and her family in Wilmington, we made many memories. We introduced our British friends to ‘the Thanksgiving’ meal (including of course, Thanksgiving desserts!) and American basketball, and they introduced us to the ‘tradition’ of throwing nuts at your windows for good luck, which we since found out wasn’t really based on any tradition!
I’m not saying they played a joke on us…but we somehow became convinced that this was a time-honored English tradition.
One of the many common qualities Annie and I shared was the love of cooking. While visiting their home in England three years ago, we made raspberry jam from the raspberries we had just picked in a field, and when Annie still lived here, we spent a day baking Christmas cookies and holiday desserts in my kitchen.
That Christmas baking day is one of my fondest memories. We made some of each of our family’s favored traditional Christmas desserts. No doubt, I introduced her family to Grandma Stocker’s Pennsylvania Dutch Chocolate Cookies and several of our other favorite Christmas cookie recipes while she introduced our family to the traditional British dessert of mini mincemeat pies aka mincemeat tarts.
While I don’t have Annie baking with me, Kate and I dusted off this mincemeat tart recipe, made these mini mincemeat pies over the weekend, and reminisced about our fun times with our good friends.
References to mincemeat pie in England date back to the 15th century. At the time, various meats were included in the recipe in addition to dried fruits, spices, and alcohol. Since then the meat in the recipe has been replaced with vegetable or beef suet.
I had every intention of making my own mincemeat pie filling, but A) I did not get started in time (it takes a minimum of 2 weeks for the mixture to adequately meld) and B) I didn’t quite know where to find vegetable suet. So I deferred to Annie, who highly recommended Robertson’s Classic Mincemeat as the “go-to” filling for my mincemeat tart recipe.
This product originates in the United Kingdom, but I was able to find it on Amazon as well as my local World Market. Apples and other fruits comprise almost 60% of the ingredients of mincemeat filling with sugar, spices, and vegetable suet filling the rest of the ingredient list.
To make these mincemeat tarts, I used Martha Stewart’s Pate Brisee recipe (my go-to pie crust recipe). I use a 2.5″ round cookie cutter, which is perfect for my mini tart pan. I partially pre-baked the empty tart shells and stars before I filled them to keep the crust from getting soggy.
Pate Brisee for Tart crust
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out crust
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces 2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup ice water, plus more as needed
- 15 ounces mincemeat filling, I used Robertson's
- Pulse flour and salt in a food processor until combined.
- Add butter, and process until mixture resembles a coarse meal, about 10 seconds.
- With machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream until the mixture just begins to hold together.
- Shape dough into 2 disks. Wrap each in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days
- Preheat oven to 325' F
- Roll dough to a thickness of 1/8" or 1/4 "
- Cut a circle with a cookie cutter or inverted cup of an appropriate size for your tart pan
- Cut stars or another small shape for the top of your tart
- Pre-bake your tarts and decorative tops at 325' for 7 minutes.
- Take tarts out of the oven and increase the temperature to 350'
- Fill your tarts with mincemeat so that the tart is just about full.
- Top with pre-baked decoration
- Bake at 350' F for another 15 minutes.
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USA Pan Bakeware Aluminized Steel Mini Fluted Tart Pan, 6-Well
Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY 14-Cup Food Processor, Brushed Stainless Steel - Silver
Robertson Mincemeat - 411g
I love food, and when my love of food and my love of my friends overlap, it’s a good and wonderful thing. What are the foods that bring back your happiest memories?
Bookmark this page or pin the following image to refer back to this mini Mincemeat Tart recipe in the future.
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