From the Daylesford cookbook ‘A Love for Food‘.
For the mincemeat:
- 115g sultanas
- 115g raisins
- 70g currants
- 2 tablespoons flaked almonds
- 2 tablespoons dried cherries
- 115g crystallised ginger
- 35g mixed candied peel
- 500g grated Bramley apples (about 3)
- 85g soft light brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons Cognac
- zest of 3 lemons
- zest of 3 oranges
- a pinch of mixed spice
- a pinch of ground nutmeg
- 70g lard, grated, or suet
- a pinch of sea salt
For the pastry:
- 800g plain flour
- 280g cold butter, grated, plus a little extra for greasing
- 120g cold lard, grated
- 200g caster sugar
- a pinch of salt
- 12 egg yolks, plus 1 egg, beaten for glazing (optional)
To make the mincemeat, mix together all the ingredients and allow to marinate in a lidded, airtight container in the fridge for 1 week.
Lightly butter two 12-hole tart trays.
Put the flour, butter and lard into a bowl, and rub with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and salt, and then gradually add the egg yolks until combined and the mixture comes together in a dough. Form into a ball, wrap in cling film, and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour before using. This is very short, crumbly pastry, so it needs this quite long chilling time to firm up and make it easier to roll.
Lightly flour your work surface. Cut the ball of dough in half, and keep the second ball in the fridge while you roll out the first one to about 4mm thick. Using a plain round cutter, 6.5cm in diameter, cut out 24 circles and press into the tart trays – take the time to do this gently and carefully, so that the pastry doesn’t crack. Spoon 1 full tablespoon of mincemeat into each tart, making sure it domes slightly in the centre.
Roll out the remaining pastry, and cut out as above. Gently lay a circle of pastry over the top of each mincemeat-topped base and gently crimp the edges together all the way round, to seal. Brush with a little beaten egg, then insert the tip of a knife into the middle of each pastry top, to make a tiny slit for stream to escape. Put the tins into the fridge to rest again for an hour.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 170c / gas 3.
Remove the trays from the fridge and bake into the preheated oven for 20 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. Take out of the oven and leave to cool in the trays before removing.