CHRISTMAS MINCEMEAT AND APPLE TART
This recipe is delicious, impressive and pretty easy too. And, if you make your own mincemeat without refined sugar, or use a naturally-sweetened store-bought one, then it won't deliver quite as much of a sugary hit as regular mince pies or Christmas desserts. Added to that, the pastry is grain/gluten free, protein rich and low in carbohydrates, so you can indulge with a relatively clear conscience...
For the pastry
125g ground almonds
• 140 cassava or tapioca flour butter
• 95g unsalted butter or dairy free spread
• 1 large egg
• 1 tbsp coconut sugar
For the filling
• 400g mincemeat
• 2 eating apples, peeled, cored and sliced
• 1/2 tsp cinnamon
• 20g butter/coconut oil
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C, then lightly grease a 20cm non-stick tart tin.
Make the pastry in a food processor - add the ground almonds, cassava/tapioca flour and coconut sugar and pulse to combine, before adding the butter/spread and pulsing to form crumbs. Then add the egg and blend until it resembles pastry, but don't over-mix. Take it out and bring it together with your hands, then place in a bowl in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the 20g butter/oil in a frying pan and add the apple slices and cinnamon, cooking gently for about 5 minutes until the apples are slightly softened but not too soft or they will break. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Take the cooled pastry out of the fridge, roll it out between two pieces of parchment paper, then transfer to the prepared tart tin and press it in, filling in any holes or gaps that may appear (any leftover pastry can be used to make some mince pies, you can store it in the fridge for a few days). Using a fork, prick some tiny holes over the base and bake it blind in the pre-heated oven for 8 minutes until lightly golden.
Remove the tart case from the oven, spread the mincemeat over the pastry and arrange the slices of apples on top in a decorative pattern of your choice. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the mixture is hot and bubbling, and the apples are golden, but being careful not to let the edges of the pastry burn.
Allow to cool slightly, then remove from the tart tin and serve - delicious with custard, brandy sauce or cream.