Festive munchies – the ‘star’ tart

A fairly simple take on a mince pie – sized up and with added stars!Having invited people for a meal a few days before Christmas I decided to serve up a festive dessert…and you can’t get much more festive than mince pies. I love mince pies but to my mind the balance of mincemeat filling to pastry has to be just right – or erring on the side of more filling…in other words, too much pastry is not good (no matter how good the pastry).In addition, the mincemeat has to be just right – not too thick or gluey – as otherwise the mince pies just become a stodge pie.

As I was planning to serve three courses before we even got to dessert I decided that although our mincemeat was not too thick or stodgy I would lighten the tart slightly by combining the mincemeat with some apple compote.I briefly cooked peeled, cored and chopped apples over a low heat with a little water, some lemon zest and juice and a smattering of brown sugar. I then pureed the apple to get a smooth zingy puree which I used to line the base of the pastry case and I then added the mincemeat on top.Rather than topping the entire tart with pastry I got my little helper to cut out some pastry stars which I placed on top of the mincemeat.I the popped the tart in the ovenand served it up twenty minutes later dusted with a light sprinkling of icing sugar and with a healthy dollop of crème fraiche!

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