These traditional mincemeat tarts have just five ingredients, are surprisingly easy to make and are so much better than store-bought!
Ah mince tarts. Not to be confused with the savory, meaty version, they are one of those festive foods that are synonymous with Christmas in my house. My family gobble them up as soon as the calendar strikes December. We buy them by the tray and they get eaten just as quickly.
Why you'll love this recipe:
- Super simple to make with mincemeat from a jar.
- Keeps well so you can make them well ahead of Christmas day.
- A generous mincemeat-to-pastry ratio.
- Bite-sized so you can have more than one!
Recipe tips and frequently asked questions:
What are mincemeat tarts?
Mincemeat tarts, also known as mince tarts, mince pies or fruit mince pies, are a festive sweet treat that originated in England. They are made of buttery short-crust pastry and a mix of brandied, spiced minced fruit, such as apples, sultanas and candied peel or 'mincemeat'.
Why is it called mincemeat?
Mincemeat is a mix of chopped fruit, alcohol and spices. Originally mincemeat also contained meat, typically beef or venison. Modern-day mincemeat does not contain meat, but some still contain beet suet.
In some parts of the world mincemeat is referred to minced or ground meat, also known as hamburger meat in the USA.
Do mincemeat tarts need to be refrigerated?
No sweet mincemeat tarts do not usually need to be refrigerated, especially if they are made with store-bought fruit mince. They are made from shelf-stable, cooked pastry and dried fruit that have been preserved in alcohol.
How long will mincemeat tarts last?
These mincemeat tarts in this recipe will last up to four weeks if stored in an airtight container lined with parchment paper.
Looking for more fabulous festive desserts? Why not try making my easy no bake Christmas Rocky Road or Philadelphia no bake cheesecake. Delicious!
Fruit mince: to make things easy I use a jar of fruit mince in this recipe. Use the most premium quality fruit mince your budget will allow. You could use homemade fruit mince if you prefer.
Plain flour: also known as all-purpose flour. It's important to use flour that does not have any rising agents in it.
Plain wholemeal flour: some wholemeal flour really helps balance the sweetness of these mince tarts and gives them a lovely savory edge and cut through the sweetness. If you really can't stand wholemeal flour you can replace it with the same amount of plain flour.
Butter: regular unsalted butter is best for this recipe.
Powdered sugar: also known as icing sugar or confectioners sugar. The icing sugar helps give the pastry in these tarts a smooth texture. It's important to make sure you sift it before adding or your pastry will be lumpy.
How to make mincemeat tarts
Preheat oven to 355°F (180°C). Grease some mini or regular-size muffin tins with butter.
Sift the plain flour and icing sugar together. Sift the wholemeal flour, then add the sifted bit into the mix.
Cube the butter and rub it into the flour and sugar mix to form a breadcrumb consistency.
Add the water and mix together until a dough forms. Tip onto a lightly floured work surface and kneed lightly until the dough becomes smooth. Do not overwork the dough or it will become tough and your pastry will shrink when it bakes.
Roll the pastry out to about ½cm thick. Use a round cutter to cut out circles for the tart bases and star shapes for the tops. You want the bases to come about halfway up your molds.
Add about a teaspoon of fruit mince into each tart and put a start on the top. Do not overfill your tarts or they will boil over. Place a pastry star on top of each tart.
Hot tip: for extra golden pastry you can brush the tops lightly with egg wash. Beat one large egg with one tablespoon of water and brush on lightly.
Bake in the oven for about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely.
How to serve
To serve these mince pies pop them onto a pretty festive plate and dust them with icing sugar. They are perfect to serve after a Christmas feast, as part of a festive dessert bar or when friends and family pop over during the festive season.
How to store
These mince tarts will store well in an airtight container lined with baking paper at room temperature for up to four weeks, so you can make them well in advance of Christmas day.
Have you made this recipe? Tell me how it went in the comments below and tag me on Instagram so I can see your delicious creations! @keep_calm_and_eat_icecream
Looking for more yummy Christmas dessert recipes?
Why not try making
- Ferrero Rocher Cheesecake
- White Christmas
- Gingerbread men
- Old fashioned fruit cake
- Christmas pudding ice cream
Follow me on Facebook or Pinterest for many more delicious recipes.
- mini or regular sized muffin tins
- Round and star cookie cutters
- 1 jar (14oz/ 410gms ) pre-made fruit mince
- 1 cup (150gms) plain flour or all purpose flour
- 1 cup (135 gms) wholemeal flour
- 1 stick plus one tablespoon (125gms) unsalted butter
- ¼ cup (60gms) powdered sugar
- approx. 4 tablespoons cold water
- extra butter for greasing muffin tins
- extra powdered sugar to decorate
Optional egg wash
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- Pre-heat the oven to 355°F (180°C). Grease the mini muffin tins
- Sift the flour and sugar together. Add the butter and rub to form a bread crumb consistency.
- Add the water and mix until a dough forms. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and lightly kneed until dough becomes smooth.
- Roll the pastry out until it's about ½ cm thick, Cut out circle cookie cutter shapes for the bases and start shapes for the lids. The base should fit nicely in the greased muffin tin to form a shallow dish.
- Add about a teaspoon of mincemeat into each tart and put a star on top for the lid. Do not over fill or they will bubble over and become sticky.
- Optional: for extra golden brown pastry beat one large egg and one tablespoon of water well together, then lightly bush ontop of the stars.
- Bake in the oven until golden brown, about ten to fifteen minutes.
- Once done remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
- Dust with icing sugar if desired or gobble them up as they are.
Nutritional information is an estimate based on an online database. The nutritional content of ingredients may vary by brand. If you require accurate nutritional information, you should calculate this based on the specific brands and products you are using.
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Mincemeat tarts are always so great for the holidays and I love this mini version of them! They would make a great edible gift or an original addition to a cookie exchange 🙂
Thanks Sylvie. I've always made the mini version, I think the store bought ones are to big! Plus this way you can eat more without being to much of a piggy 😀