'Tis the Season for Festive Feasting!
It's also the Season for Get-Togethers, Drop-Ins, Bring-a-Plates and various other gatherings. As anyone with InTolerances knows, there's very little chance of being offered anything other than a piece of fruit at these events, so it's always a good idea to take along a nice yummy that you can enjoy while proving to others how delicious InTolerant cooking really can be
Mince Tarts are such an iconic Christmas offering that I was determined to make a huge pile of them to share with my friends and family this year. Then I realised- to make individual little babies would take quite a lot of time and energy, both of which are in short supply this time of year with all the running around I have to do... A quick re-think, and thus the Festive Fruit Mince Slice was born. All the same yumminess as a regular Mince Pie, but a lot less mucking about. Definitely something to be Merry about indeed!
Festive Fruit Mince Tart
1/2 cup Castor Sugar
250gm lactose free Spread
3 cups gluten free plain Flour
1 tsp Vanilla
1 1/2 cups gf and lf Fruit Mince either home made or pre-prepared
Pop the flour, sugar, spread and vanilla into the bowl of a food processor
Pulse it all until it comes together nicely
OR mix the ingredients together in a big bowl until they form a nice soft dough
Divide the dough in half, putting the half for the top in the fridge to chill until a bit firm
With the other half of the dough, push it out carefully and evenly to line the slice tray, then bake it at 170*C for about 30 minutes or until lightly set and slightly golden
Ooops! Can anyone spot my deliberate mistake? I stuck my pot-holder into the shortbread while I was pulling it out of the oven- just to demonstrate how very soft it still is until it cools, not because I'm a klutz or anything :)
Let the shortbread cool in the tin until it firms up nicely :P
Spread the fruit mince over the base, leaving a thin margin of clear shortbread all the way around the edges. This will help the top to seal nicely and stop the fruit mince bubbling up over the edges and burning on the hot metal
Roll the top layer of dough out to an even sheet, then lay over the fruit mince. Pat it down carefully on the edges just to make sure it connects. Sprinkle the top with a bit more castor sugar for a pretty, glittery effect, then bake again for about 35 minutes or until the top is set and lightly golden
As I wanted a nice festive effect, I cut some shapes out of my dough before it was placed on top. I very kindly made another 'deliberate mistake' to then show you what would happen if you didn't chill the dough enough to set the shapes properly. Aren't I kind? The dough spread and instead of a scattering of snowflakes I ended up with a splodge of spider webs instead. Never mind, at least you won't make the same mistake :)
The finished item with it's spidery Halloween designs instead of Christmas ones- not as pretty but still as tasty!
This is a lovely 'short' pastry that crumbles quite easily, so it's a bit easier to slice it up once cooled. It's also perfect for dunking in a cup of Earl Grey tea in case you're interested. I leave mine in the fridge this time of year and it lasts for at least a week if I can control myself- but I make no promises!
So Dear Readers, what do you like to munch on to be Merry, and are you on top of your Christmas shopping yet?