These delicious, truly old-fashioned mincemeat tarts made from real, genuine mincemeat will be the talk of any party.
They will also be far healthier than any bought ready-made at the supermarket or even any you can make with a store-bought mincemeat.
Depending on what balance you want to strike between “traditional” and “healthy”, you can make these for anywhere between 260 calories / 359 mg sodium per tart , and 90 calories/ 20 mg sodium per tart. (A store-bought tart will be about 375 calories.)
In England, these are called “mince pies”, despite being tart-sized.
NOTE: As these tarts have real meat in them, store them in the refrigerator. Heat in oven for 3 to 4 minutes at 180 C (350 F) before serving.
(To be clear, this is a “cooking with canning you have already done” recipe. This is not a recipe for canning.)
This recipe uses:
Yield: 8 x 8 cm (3 inch) tarts
Oven temperature: 200 C (400 F)
Baking time: 20 minutes
- Mix the salt and the flour; blend the shortening in; add just enough cold water (a few tablespoons at a time) to get the dough to form a ball. (To be clear, don't add all the water if it is not all needed.) Once the water has been added, you run the risk of gluten developing and making the crust tough, so handle it no more than necessary and above all don't knead it.
- Set aside one-third of the dough for the tart lids.
- Start heating oven to 200 C / 400 F.
- Roll out the other two-thirds of the dough, use it to line 8 of the cups in an ungreased, unheated tart pan.
- Put two tablespoons of the mince meat pie filling in each tart.
- Roll out the remaining one-third of the pie dough. Cut it into circular lids for the tarts, and apply them.
- Brush tart tops with a bit of beaten egg, egg sub or milk for a browner colour [optional].
- When oven has fully heated, place tarts in oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes.
- Remove pan from oven.
- Leave tarts to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- Instead of butter, you can use margarine (low-fat or regular), shortening, lard, etc.
- We used a tart (muffin) part with 8 cm (3 inch) cups in it. Use smaller or larger, if that is what you have. It will change the yield so adjust how you work accordingly;
- You can get 8 to 12 tarts, depending on the size of the tarts;
- If you want to get fancy, you can cut the lids in star shape, etc;
- If you make a solid lid sealed to the sides, you’ll want to cut a slat in the top of each tart to allow steam to escape;
- Some people like to sprinkle with sugar before baking (apply water or an egg-wash first so the sugar will stick.) When hot straight out of the oven, sprinkle with a bit more sugar;
- Some people like to dust with icing sugar before serving;
- Though a top crust (“lid”) is more or less traditional, some people make theirs without one, and serve with a dollop of sour cream or other cream (even ice cream) on top instead.
- To be prepared for unexpected guests over the holidays, you can freeze them. Put in airtight container and freeze for up to a month. To serve, let stand at room temperature for an hour, then heat for 3 to 4 minutes in an oven;
- And remember, this is real mincemeat, with meat in it. Store in refrigerator.
We explore here the nutritional values for several variations. Most of the calories per tart are in the pastry. As far as the mincemeat filling is concerned, there’s actually only 62 calories per two tablespoons (46 calories for the sugar and salt free version.)
We based the following on a yield of eight tarts. An average tart made with a pastry crust and lid will weigh about 100 g (3 oz).
(For comparison, Mr Kipling Mince Pies as sold in the UK per 100 g are 376 calories and .3 g salt as of 2016.)
Made with full regular sugar and salt version of the mincemeat, and pastry crust including lid
- 1 tart: 260 calories, 359 mg sodium
Sugar and salt free version
Made with sugar and salt version of the mincemeat, and salt-free version pastry crust including lid
- 1 tart: 228 calories, 92 mg sodium
Sugar and salt free version, phyllo-pastry crust
Made with sugar and salt version of the mincemeat, and ¼ sheet of phyllo pastry folded several times as the tart shell.
If you make them this way, you’ll likely have no top crust, so serve lightly-dusted perhaps with icing sugar, or with a dollop of low-fat sour cream.
- 1 tart: 90 calories, 20 mg sodium