I have been making these fruit mince tarts for many years and they are so delicious they have converted many a non-tart-liker to a staunch lover of this lovely traditional Christmas treat. The filling is not quite what you expect - quite fresh and a little tart, and there is no suet in these so overall they are much healthier.
Makes 35 - 40 mini tarts or 20 - 25 large tarts
* 125g (4.5 oz) each, sultanas, currants, dried cranberries
* 65g (2.2 oz) dates, softened in hot water
* 65g dried apricots
* 75g (2.6 oz) mixed glace peel
* 65g brown sugar
* 30ml (2tbs) lemon juice
* 2 ripe bananas, mashed
* 700g sweet short crust pastry
You will also need some mini muffin tins, and butter or baking spray.
Chop the sultanas, currants, cranberries, dates and apricots using a food processor on pulse or chopping with a sharp knife. Place all the fruit in a large bowl.
Add the glace peel. You may want to chop it roughly first.
Add the lemon juice, brown sugar and banana and stir well.
Set the mixture aside. Preheat your oven to 190 degs celcius. Grease your mini muffin tins with butter or baking spray.
With a circle cutter, cut out circles from your pastry and push them into the muffin tins.
You can leave the pastry to rest for 30 mins now (although I'm naughty and very rarely do).
Fill almost to the top with the fruit mince.
Cut out a star from the pastry and place on top.
I made several different tops, just for fun...
These were made by brushing the edges of the pastry case with a little water, then cutting out a circle of pastry which I then cut another smaller shape out of.
Glaze with a mixture of 1 egg yolk and 1 tbs water.
Bake for 20 mins (or until golden).
Serve with a dusting of icing sugar. Make sure to keep a couple for Santa. He has a lot of work to do tonight and I'm told he's partial to these particular tarts :).
Note on storage: These tarts are great as they freeze well and just a few can be bought out at a time - they defrost easily at room temperature. Can be frozen for up to 3 weeks. Freeze them in a plastic container with layers of baking paper in between if stacking them up. They also keep in the pantry in a biscuit tin for 1 week.