Recipe: Dot’s orange, almond and mincemeat tart

The first time I tried this mincemeat tart, my tastebuds thought they’d died and gone to heaven. Pastry, orange, almonds and mincemeat; the ingredients of a mighty fine treat. Scott’s Nan kindly gave me the recipe to put on my blog and share with you. I laugh to myself when I think back to us making one with Scott’s Mum for a party; any bits that got close to falling apart went in our bellies (there was definitely some deliberate damage). Being chef has its perks.

Slice of mincemeat tart

Mincemeat tart

Ingredients

Shortcrust pastry

  • 170g plain flour
  • 85g butter
  • 1 table spoon caster sugar
  • A little egg, beaten

If you don’t want to make your own pastry, ready made will work just as well.

Filling

  • 1 orange (zest and juice)
  • Approx 500g of mincemeat

Almond topping

  • 1 egg white
  • 55g ground almonds
  • 85g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of almond essence

Other

Mincemeat tart recipe

1. Make your pastry

Go to step 2 if you are using ready made pastry.

Rub cold butter into the flour with the tips of your fingers until the texture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Try to avoid over working the flour because the butter will melt and become sticky. Mix in the sugar then add a little bit of egg; just enough to help the mixture stick together and form a dough. Knead the dough very briefly then wrap it in clingfilm and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

After 30 mins, sprinkle a little flour on the top and bottom, put pastry on a piece of baking parchment and roll to about 4mm thick. Then turn the parchment the other way up (dough underneath, parchment on top) and gently put it into a lightly greased tin.

2. Blind bake the pastry

Preheat your oven to 180c. Scrunch up a piece of baking parchment a couple of times and then unfold and lay it over the top of your pastry. Put baking beans on top – if like me you don’t have any, use rice instead and sprinkle it thickly to weigh the pastry down.

Bake for 20 minutes and then remove from the oven and allow to cool.

3. Add orange to the mincemeat

Whilst your pastry is cooling, add the zest of one orange and the juice from half an orange to the mincemeat. You want the mincemeat to be moist and gooey but not wet.

Mincemeat with orange zest

4. Whisk the egg whites

Add one egg white to a bowl and whisk until it forms stiff peaks.

5. Fold in the almonds and sugar

Gently fold the sugar and ground almonds into the egg whites with a teaspoon of almond essence. It will look heavier but should still have a light, mousse-like texture.

Almond eggwhites

Egg whites with almonds

Don’t tip too much sugar/almonds in at once otherwise you’ll take all the fluffiness out of the egg whites. I did this and had to start again! A tablespoon at a time works well.

6. Add mincemeat to pastry

Spoon the mincemeat into the blind baked pastry and smooth over until flat.

7. Make an egg white lattice

Make a piping bag from a sheet of baking parchment and fill it with the egg white mixture. Pipe in a lattice pattern over the top of the mincemeat. I like the lattice thick because you get a substantial bite of almond paste with every mouthful.

Egg white piped onto tart

The hole in my piping bag was badly cut so my lattice ended up a bit wibbly wobbly! If you have trouble with this step just remember there’s no such thing as an untidy end result… it’s rustic.

8. Bake

Bake for 20-25 mins at 180c. Your tart is done when the pastry is golden and the filling is bubbling. The filling will firm up a little when it cools so you want to take the tart out of the oven when some of the juice has cooked off – it should look saucy not sloppy.

9. Leave to cool a little

The filling will be pretty molten so leave to cool for about 10 minutes otherwise you’ll burn your mouth. This tart is absolutely delicious eaten hot or cold. Fresh out of the oven, the outer layer of the lattice has a slight crunch and underneath is a warm and fluffly almond paste. It’s my favourite bit.

Slice cut from mincemeat tart

Tart on fork

If you’re thinking about making this mincemeat tart for Christmas, a couple of test runs ahead of the big day would be a good idea don’t you think? *wink, nudge*.

P.S. This is the first time I’ve ever made pastry from scratch!

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