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.