The other day at the farm shop I bought a specialty jar of mincemeat, which these days isn’t made with meat. I wanted to surprise the girls with these mince tarts, but I didn’t want to go to the trouble of making mincemeat. The mincemeat filling was delicious, but you won’t have the same luck I did finding this farm shop (the same one where I bought gorgeous poinsettias and a Christmas tree). Buy the best mincemeat you can find, or make your own.
They bake up in just 15 minutes, and only take a few minutes to prepare, especially when you use store-bought mincemeat. (A food processor makes quick work of the dough.) So maybe there's still time to make a batch for Christmas!
2 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
½ cup ground almonds
½ cup margarine
½ cup sugar
grated zest of 1 orange (optional)
1 tablespoon soy yoghurt
1 tablespoon (plus more) ice water
extra flour for dusting
1 ½ cup mincemeat (vegan)
soymilk for brushing the tops
confectioner’s sugar for dusting (optional)
Place the dry ingredients in a food processor. Pulse to mix. Chunk the margarine into bits and add the mixture; pulse until the mixture is crumbly. Add soy yoghurt and 1 tablespoon ice water. Pulse to combine, adding more water if necessary.
Shape into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 12-muffin tin with cooking spray. Remove the chilled dough and separate 12 walnut (1 ½ inch) pieces. Save the remaining dough for the stars.
Roll into a ball and dip into flour. With a rolling pin or a glass, roll the ball into a flat circle, about 3 inches wide. Place the circle into each muffin tin, pressing down with the edges coming up the sides about ½ inch. Don’t worry if the shape is uneven. (If you want more perfect tarts, roll the dough flat and cut into 12 round shapes with a 3-inch round cookie cutter.)
Fill each shape with about 2 teaspoons of mincemeat. Flatten the remaining dough with a rolling pin and cut into small star shapes. Place the stars on top of the mincemeat and brush the tops with soymilk.
Bake at 12-15 minutes or until they begin to turn brown. Let cool, then remove from the muffin tins. If desired, you can dust the tops with confectioner’s sugar.