Boozy fruit tart

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I love a festive recipe and this is just that. Currants, raisins, sultanas and dates all married together with christmas spices and a good glug of whiskey. If you don't like to drink alcohol you could use apple juice in the place of the whiskey. Its important to assemble the tart with the boozy fruit chilled so I recommend making the fruity bit the night before if you can.  this recipe also works very well for traditional mince pies. Just make it as follows but make to a smaller size using a cutters and a cupcake pan. The bake time will be the same. 

Boozy fruit tart

| makes on 23 inch tart or about 24 traditional size mince pies|

INGREDIENTS

For the fruit

  • 50g butter (plus 2 tbsps more for dotting)
  • 1 bramley apple, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 100g dark currants
  • 150g golden sultanas
  • 75g giant Turkish raisins
  • 100g medjoul dates, pitted and roughly chopped (roughly 5 dates)
  • 1 orange, zest and juice
  • zest of ½ a lemon
  • 200ml whiskey or cognac (or apple juice)
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • pinch of salt

For the spelt Pate Brisee

  • 225g white spelt flour (plain white works too)
  • 25g icing sugar
  • 150g butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten (plus one extra for brushing)
  • 2tbsp ice cold water

METHOD

  • To make the boozy fruit place all of the listed ingredients into a large heavy bottomed saucepan or dutch oven. Cook over a medium heat stirring to combine until the butter has melted. Cover with the lid and reduce to a simmer.
  • Cook for about 15 minutes stirring occasionally until the fruit is soft and plump and the liquid has been absorbed. Once the fruit has cooked taste. If you like it to be very boozy you can add a further tablespoon or two of whiskey if you wish. Allow your fruit to cool fully before placing in the fridge to chill ideally overnight or at least for 2 hours.
  • To make the pastry place your flour and icing sugar in the food processor and blitz to combine. Add your butter and process until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Do not over process or you will have a tough pastry
  • Add your egg and water and process again just until the pastry forms a ball.  Tear about one third off and set this aside. Be careful not to handle the pastry too much.
  • Transfer your larger ball of pastry to a lightly floured work surface and roll out until you have a circle larger than the dish. Using your rolling pin to ‘back roll’ the pastry and lift it over to gently line the tart dish. Tear off a small ball of the pastry and use this to press the pastry into the sides. Be careful not to stretch or pull the pastry as this will cause it to shrunk when baking. When your pastry is lined press away the edges and set aside.
  • Roll out your smaller piece of pastry to a circle about the same size as the tart pan. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife slice it into 9 even width strips (they should be around 2cm wide).
  • Spoon in your chilled boozy fruit and dot over about 2 tablespoons of butter breaking it into small pieces as giving the pie and even dotting.
  • Gently layer over your strips in a lattice pattern (over under, over under etc) rotating the tart each time you place another strip on. Seal and trim the edges to your tart pan.  
  • Brush the pastry over lightly with beaten egg and bake for 45 minutes or until the pastry has lightly browned. Remove and place on a wire wrack to cool slightly.
  • As an option you can sift over some icing sugar if you like. You can enjoy this warm or cool. I prefer it warm served with double cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
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