watch as kai gold dusts the tarts for added bling
Christmas Sweet Mince Tarts
Preparation time 35 – 45 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Makes 18 pies
225g Cold butter, diced
350g Plain flour, plus a little flour for dusting
100g Castor sugar
1-2 tbsp Chilled water
280g Best quality sweet mincemeat (add extra almonds, chopped pistachio nuts and/or lemon rind to your liking)
Rub the cold diced butter into the flour, add sugar and salt then mix.
Add water and knead the mixture for a short time until just combined, do not over work.
Preheat the oven to 180c.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface and cut out 18 stars.
Knead offcuts into a ball, pinch of small dough balls and press into the none stick greased patty tins.
Add brandy to the mincemeat and spoon into the pies.
Lay dough stars on top, place into the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until golden.
Cool for 5 minutes before placing the tarts onto a wire rack.
Before serving, dust lightly with icing sugar.
Note: Maybe made in advance then frozen before baking.
The History of Mince Pies
Mince Pies, like Christmas Puddings, were originally filled with meat, such as lamb, rather than the dried fruits and spices mix as they are today. We decided to photograph them with organic mince .They were also first made in an oval shape to represent the manger that Jesus slept in as a baby, with the top representing his swaddling clothes. Sometimes they even had a ‘pastry baby Jesus’ on the top! But for our photography styling we went with the Gold dusted star of David
During the Stuart and Georgian times, in the UK, mince pies were a status symbol at Christmas. Very rich people liked to show off at their Christmas parties by having pies made is different shapes (like stars, crescents, hearts, tears, & flowers); they fancy shaped pies could often fit together a bit like a jigsaw! They also looked like the ‘knot gardens’ that were popular during those periods. Having pies like this meant you were rich and could afford to employ the best, and most expensive, pastry cooks.
Now they are normally made in a round shape and are eaten hot or cold. I like mine hot with some ice cream!
A custom from the middle ages says that if you eat a mince pie on every day from Christmas to Twelfth Night (evening of the 5th January) you will have happiness for the next 12 months!
Thanks to the incredible Kai for his styling and inspiration to our food photography. Hope you have an excellent happy safe holiday season and we look forward to working with you again next year
Richard Weinstein Photography