fruit mince tarts
It’s that time of year when the fruit mince tarts begin to appear. Fruit mince tart mania buds and grows to unimaginable heights. Everybody seems to have their version of this annual but I don’t know of any that are “legal” and by that I mean grain-free, dairy-free and low FODMAP. All that dried fruit and wheat pastry not to mention bucket loads of sugar is just NOT WORTH the devastating after effects!!! Everywhere we turn and see these delectable, pop in the mouth morsels but stop, there’s no need to go there no matter how desperate you find yourself becoming…..because I have a satisfactory if not simply marvelous solution: make your own using the following recipe!!
My version of the traditional fruit mince tart is grain-free, dairy-free and low FODMAP. If you are watching your FODMAPs then stick to just one tart at a time because they do contain almond meal in the pastry. The Monash University low FODMAP diet App says 24g or about ¼ cup is the limit. If you would like to make these tarts with less almond meal then you will need to use 150g pumpkin seed meal (use a coffee/spice grinder to grind green pumpkin seeds into a meal) and reduce the almond meal quantity to 125g. As you can imagine, to get this kind of fruit mince tart tasting right took dozens and dozens of trial runs. Here at home we were eating the flops for months! I had problems with the cooked tarts clinging for dear life to the surface of the muffin pan….I think I began to have the same dream each night… fruit mince tarts floating off a muffin pan and disappearing into the darkness outside. Anyway, getting my grain-free pastry to behave was no “piece of cake” that’s for sure!! And then to get to the mincemeat of the matter…..and I don’t want to mince my words here – the fact is, these tarts had to fake it! They had to taste like the real McCoy without the help of even one small sultana, raisin or currant. Sounds ridiculous, I know.
I made so, so many fruit mince tart flops until one day there emerged from my over-worked oven the yummiest, dreamiest and most well behaved tarts you could ever imagine (if I say so myself)! This time the little darlings slid out of the muffin pan, “floated” onto the cooling rack and got the thumbs up by all those who participated in the taste testing.
When it came to the mincemeat of the matter I have to say that it would not have been possible without the support of one most unlikely ingredient. My secret weapon. You will never guess unless I tell you – so I must tell you. Celeriac! Yep, it’s celeriac! Celeriac is such a mild flavoured root vegetable unlike its cousin – celery. There is the faintest hint of …..well nothing really except maybe aniseed maybe not. But I can tell you for sure – when it is combined with sweet pie spices and blueberries it becomes incognito. Celeriac is a great low FODMAPs filler for savory and in this case, sweet dishes. With minimal tweaking celeriac can replace stewed apple (apples are a no go for the FODMAPper). It can also take mashed potatoes to a whole new level by adding nutrients, decreasing starch levels, and by imparting a welcome subtlety in flavour and texture.
I stumbled upon this most unlikely mincemeat ingredient part by accident and part by necessity. You see, during the time of my tart trials I happened to be using celeriac quite a lot at home. It was celeriac season and I simply could not resist buying the biggest ones sitting on the shelf at the local produce store. They had my name written all over them. And they are inexpensive too. On the other hand the organic frozen blueberries were costing a small fortune…you have to remember there were many, many trial runs….I was going through blueberries like there was no tomorrow!! So I put two and two together and got one really delicious and not so expensive mincemeat recipe.
Fruit Mince Tarts look their best when powdered (just before serving) with a little icing sugar – I make my own icing sugar by grinding organic raw sugar in a high-speed blender….it works a treat. I like to serve these little munchkins with a dollop of unsweetened coconut yogurt although they taste absolutely delicious on their own too.
Making your own pies and tarts especially small ones with pastry shells and lids can be quite fiddly and time consuming to say the least but it means you can regulate the ingredients – and that is surely a bonus for sensitive tummies and overworked immune systems.
FRUIT MINCE TARTS
200g frozen blueberries
80g celeriac, peeled with a knife and grated
1 large orange, zest
100ml orange juice
60ml gin, vodka or whiskey
80g ghee/or purified coconut oil
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground clove
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 pinch pink himalayan crystal salt
50g raw sugar
30g brazil nuts, sliced (or flaked almonds)
20g chia seeds, ground
250g almond meal
300g potato starch
75g raw sugar, powdered *
125g purified coconut oil
60ml egg white
1¼ tsp apple cider vinegar
1 pinch pink himalayan crystal salt
Preheat oven to 150C and grease a muffin pan (I use a muffin pan so that I get 12 large tarts rather than make a whole load of tiny ones) with coconut oil. Grease the top of the tray as well so that any overhang from the pastry tops will not stick when you go to remove the cooked tarts.
To make the filling place all ingredients except the ground chia seeds into a heavy based saucepan. Cook over low heat to warm the blueberries and melt the oil/ghee stirring gently until evenly mixed through. Remove from heat and stir in the ground chia seeds. Set aside
To make the pastry place all ingredients into a food processor and process until a dough forms. This should take about 5 – 10 seconds. Place the pastry in a freezer bag to prevent it drying out. If your kitchen is quite warm this will cause the dough to be too soft to handle and you will need to chill it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Roll dough between cling film (I use two large freezer bags) to 3mm – 5mm thick. Cut out twelve circles using a 10cm diameter cookie cutter. I find it easier to roll out smaller amounts of the dough and cut 2 or 3 circles out at a time. I peel away the excess pastry from the cut out circles then lift the cling film and allow one cut out shape to drop into the palm of my hand. Then I gently place it into the prepared tin and repeat the process until I have 12 pastry cases.
Divide mincemeat amongst the 12 cases. For the tart lids repeat the same procedure as for cases with the remaining dough except you will need to use a 7.5cm diameter cookie cutter. Cover each tart with a lid. Cut out small leaf shapes with a cutter and pop three on top of each tart. Cook tarts in preheated oven for 50-60 minutes.
Allow to cool slightly, then gently twist each tart to loosen from sides of pan before removing completely. Place tarts on a cooling rack.
Dust tarts with powdered sugar just before serving otherwise it tends to melt into the pastry after a while. Serve with coconut yoghurt if desired.
*To make powdered sugar grind raw sugar in a high speed blender until fine.