Very few cooks make good pie crust. This is unfortunate, because a fine pie is one of the most delicious desserts, while a pie with a tough or soggy crust is one of the worst. The technique for making a perfect crust is comparatively simple, once you have acquired the knack. If you follow the tools, you should achieve good results every time.
- The mixing of the dry ingredients is simple. Just sift them together.
- The mixing a butter and flour, using two knives or a pastry blender. The bowl and knives should be dry to prevent lumping of the flour.
- Add the minimum amount of cold water required to just moisten, not wet, the flour.
- If the shell is to be baked and then filled, prick the surface with a fork to release air bubbles.
Mincemeat gets the luxury treatment with the addition of whiskey to make a marvelous filling for these traditional tarts.
Whisky-Laced Mince Tarts
- For the filling:
- 1 cup dark raisins
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 1 cup dry currants
- 2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced or coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup mixed candied peel (of your taste)
- grated zest from 1 small orange
- grated zest from 1 small lemon
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg and
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- pinch of salt
- 2/3 cup pecan nuts, chopped
- 2 1/2 Tbsp. melted butter
- 1/4 cup whiskey
- For the pastry:
- 10 Tbsp butter
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp grated orange rind
- 1 Tbsp. superfine sugar
- 2 cups plain, all-purpose flour
- icing sugar for serving
To make the pastry: Mix the egg yolk with the orange rind, sugar and 2 teaspoons chilled water in a small bowl and set aside. Sift the flour into a separate mixing bowl. Rub or cut in the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the egg mixture and mix to a dough. Wrap in clear plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
To make the mincemeat: Put the first six ingredients into the food processor. Process until finely minced, but not puréed. Then add brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt. Process until JUST combined. Add the pecan nuts and process briefly, just to break up the nuts. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Add melted butter and whiskey. Stir to combine thoroughly.
Store airtight in the refrigerator, until ready to use; stir it occasionally, to redistribute the juice. Mince will keep for several months in the refrigerator, tightly covered. Or freeze it, for long-term storage.
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Roll out three-quarters of the pastry. Stamp out fluted rounds and use to line a small muffin pan or 12 individual cupcake tins. Roll out the remaining pastry thinly and stamp out round tops. Spoon a little filling into each pastry case and top with rounds. Brush with a little beaten egg or milk and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden. Leave to cool. Dust the mince tarts with a little icing sugar.
Replace the whiskey in the filling with Cointreau or brandy, if you like.
This recipe was entered to Shine Supper Club.
Rebecca SubbiahNovember 17, 2012 at 2:53 pm
these look divine 🙂 miss these as a Brit in the US
Laura DembowskiNovember 17, 2012 at 3:31 pm
Those look great. You can always replace the water in the pastry with whiskey to enhance the flavor too!
MarinaNovember 17, 2012 at 6:45 pm
Mini-pies, or tarts, are my family favorite, sweet or savory, they just can't have enough. Thanks for the recipe and beautiful photos. Have a lovely weekend too! 🙂
GwenNovember 18, 2012 at 5:10 pm
I've never been a huge pie fine because like you said most often the crust is dry and tasteless. My sisters and MIL have been making excellent pies the last few years and they have been wonderful.
This sounds like it could be a favorite of mine, I love the filling!
YelenaNovember 19, 2012 at 12:56 am
Thank you everyone for a warm comments! I am happy to see you here-)
CaroleNovember 29, 2012 at 7:00 pm
Hi there. The current Food on Friday is all about Christmas! It would be great if you linked in any Xmas favourites you have. This is the link . Have a good week.
Pink of PerfectionDecember 3, 2012 at 8:21 pm
My oh my, what stunners! We are celebrating traditional holiday favorites this month in the Shine Supper Club, and this recipe would be a perfect contribution. I hope you'll join us!
LauraDecember 23, 2013 at 6:01 am
I made these yesterday and my Dad (Born and raised in the UK) went batty! He absolutely loved them!
I don't have a food processor, so used a blender to chop the raisins (etc) and then combined them in a bowl after. (don't over load the blender, you will get a sticky puree mess!)
A tip for anyone wanting to make them: the dough is very, VERY hard to work with. Give yourself lots of time! Also, the recipe doesn't tell you how much butter to use in the dough, so i just kept adding until i had the right consistency (i didn't measure exactly how much i used, but i would guess between 2/3and 3/4 of a cup)
I had quite a bit of mince left over, so I used some store bought dough to make more today!
Delicious! I will absolutely make again!