A fabulously simple, speedy tart that positively screams Christmas. It takes minutes to assemble and makes what I think is a good alternative to Christmas pudding – especially when served with cream, perhaps with a generous splash of alcohol of choice mixed in!
This tart is made with just a few ingredients that are normally lying around the kitchen during the festive season: marzipan, mincemeat, apples and puff pastry.
You can use the larger Bramley apples (which will keep their shape when cooked like this) or go for smaller eating apples. They can be scattered over randomly or placed carefully in 2-3 rows down the length of the pastry.
My YouTube video for making this tart is here.
Mincemeat: use homemade or vamp up a shop-bought one!
Good quality mincemeat makes all the difference: homemade is best, but you can use commercial mincemeat. However, by adding rum or brandy, chopped nuts, grated orange or lemon zest, a few chopped apricots and some chopped apple, you can turn an indifferent shop-bought mincemeat into something more special.
I often use marzipan left over from covering the Christmas cake. A shop-bought one (without the extra colouring and the like) works well.
……or a near instant almond paste
You can instead make a softer, spreadable almond paste by mixing in a small bowl the following ingredients:
- 100g almonds (ground or finely crushed – or use any nuts to be honest)
- 2 tablespoons icing sugar
- 2 egg whites
If you have any almond extract, a teaspoon of it will dial up the almondy flavour a notch!
Recipe: apple, marzipan & mincemeat tart
- About 300g all-butter puff pastry
- 150-200g marzipan or almond paste
- 3-4 tablespoons mincemeat
- 3-4 small apples of choice, cored and sliced thinly (no need to peel)
- 1-2 teaspoons sugar mixed with a generous pinch of cinnamon or mixed spice, optional
- 1-2 tablespoons apricot jam or lemon curd to glaze: warmed (you can add a splash of rum or brandy in there if you prefer!)
(1) Preheat the oven to 180C (fan). Roll out the pasty thinly and trim to a rectangle. You can make one large rectangle or cut into smaller ones. Place on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper.
(2) Roll out the marzipan very thinly and trim to a rectangle that is a little shorter than the pastry. Place onto the pastry, leaving an exposed rim of pastry all around the marzipan.
NB: you can run a sharp knife around the marzipan, going just a little into the pastry, if you want to form a pastry rim around the tart.
(3) Spread the mincemeat on top of the marzipan.
(4) Place the apple slices on top of the mincemeat, either randomly or laying them slightly overlapping (which give a nicer effect). Sprinkle over a little sugar if you prefer: not much, just a very light dusting.
NB: You can brush some beaten egg on the exposed pastry rim but the glaze that’s brushed over once baked enhances the finish.
(5) Bake for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. Brush all over with the apricot jam. Serve with cream or custard, with a splash of brandy or rum mixed in.