In 1987, my oldest daughter came up with an idea to add tart cherries to a dried fruit mincemeat that I made.  We enjoyed it so much that it ended up replacing the regular mince pie on our holiday menu.  This is a small English-style Christmas tart version.  It was our dessert today on a snowy December afternoon.

CHRISTMAS CHERRY MINCE TARTS

  • Pastry for single-crust 9-inch pie
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots, finely chop0ped
  • 1/4 cup prunes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup frozen tart cherries
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tblsp. toasted walnuts, chopped
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 Tblsp. quick cooking tapioca
  • 1 tsp. milk
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

Divide pastry dough into five portions.  Use four portions to line small tart/pie pans (mine measure 4 inches diameter across the top).  Set aside.

In a small pan, combine finely chopped apricots, chopped prunes and raisins along with the 1/4 cup of water.  Bring to a boil and then simmer until liquid is absorbed – about 4 minutes – stirring occasionally and keeping a close watch so the mixture doesn’t burn.

Remove from heat and stir in frozen cherries (no need to defrost).  Stir in cinnamon, 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, chopped walnuts, salt and tapioca.  Mix well and divide among the four unbaked tart shells.

Roll the remaining portion of pastry dough and with a 3-inch cutter, cut out a design and place one on each of the tarts.  Brush with milk and sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Place tarts on a large sheet to catch spills and bake @ 400 degrees F

for approximately 25 minutes until the crust is brown and the filling is bubbling.

Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Makes four 4-inch tarts 

A nice treat when it’s cold, windy and snowy outside.