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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas Feasting and Homemade Fruit Mince Tarts

Christmas decorations

An extra long weekend filled with the usual over-indulgent feasting that comes with the festive season. It was an atypically cool Christmas this year: Christmas eve was cool and autumn-like; Christmas Day started with heavy rain but soon fined up to sunshiney weather. This just meant perfect conditions for extra eating, and a little more room for Christmas pud.

The following photos are just some of the tasty delights experienced over two days of feasting (including two Christmas eve dinners back-to-back!) with family and friends...

oysters
Sydney rock oysters

prawns
Australian prawns

baked ham
Baked glazed ham

roast turkey
Roast stuffed turkey

Christmas cake
Homemade Christmas cake
(by Veruca Salt - the best cake ever! so moist and delicious -
recipe here)

mince tarts
Fruit mince tarts
(homemade by yours truly)

Homemade mince tarts are nothing like the sickly sweet mouthfuls you buy from the supermarket. Have them with a cup of tea and savour the delicate contrast between plump juicy brandy-soaked fruit and buttery crisp homemade pastry.

Christmas fruit mince tarts

Prepare your fruit mince at least a week in advance. We used a variation of Maggie Beer's recipe.

Sweet shortcrust pastry
1 cup plain flour
75g butter, chilled
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tsp cold water
1 tsp lemon juice

If you have a food processor (lucky thing!), blend butter, flour and sugar until combined then add egg yolk, water and lemon juice and pulse until the mixture starts to come together.

Otherwise sift flour and cut in butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs (some suggest you coat your butter in flour and then grate into the flour). Add sugar, egg yolk, water and lemon juice and mix to a stiff dough.

Shape into a log and refrigerate for 30 minutes for easier handling. Then roll out between two sheets of clingfilm until 3mm thick. Using a circular cutter, line the base and sides of greased muffin tins and blind bake for 10 min at 180C (cover pastry with patty pans and fill with weights, such as rice or beans). Remove patty pans and bake uncovered for another 10 min.

Add spoonfuls of fruit mince into each base. Top with discs of pastry and press with a fork around the edges to seal. Decorate with extra pastry if desired, then baked at 180C for 15-20 min or until lightly browned.

Makes about 6-12 tarts depending on size of muffin tin.

6 comments - Add some comment love

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posted by Helen (AugustusGloop) on 12/27/2006 11:42:00 pm


6 Comments:

  • At 12/28/2006 10:08 am, Blogger Kat O+ said…

    I totally forgot to take pictures of all the Christmas feasts we went to. (Not one, not two, but four!) I've been having leftover ham since Monday and I can't get enough.

    Did you go to the fish markets just before Christmas? We couldn't believe how much traffic there was, even after midnight.

     
  • At 12/28/2006 4:50 pm, Blogger Rasa Malaysia said…

    Delicious...I had a shellfish binge over the weekend and had a bunch of oysters, clams, mussels and such. I don't think I have had any Australian oysters before; they sure look juicy and yummy!

     
  • At 12/28/2006 6:55 pm, Blogger Vintage Wine said…

    It really looks delicious :-) Yummy!
    Happy New Year!

     
  • At 12/28/2006 10:54 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi kat o+ - Wow. Four feasts. Lucky you!

    No I wasn't at the fish markets. The thought of those crowds terrifies me!

    Hi Rasa Malaysia - Mmm... I love shellfish. Sydney rock oysters are delicious - if you like your oysters briney and filled with fresh-from-the-sea flavour, these are definitely the ones for you!

    Hi Vintage Wine - It was. And thanks. Happy new year to you too!

     
  • At 12/30/2007 10:41 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful reviews this past year and looking forward to more reviews in 2008.

    Happy New Year!

     
  • At 1/02/2008 8:32 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Anon - Thanks for your comment, and yep, I hope to keep on churning through plenty more meals in 2008 :)

     

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