Sunday, December 17, 2006

Festive cheer!

It was our turn to host the annual Fitzpatrick family party this year. We all had a great time but as ever, I made way too much food and had to bin half of it and a child knocked mulled wine over my best white tablecloth, the one my mum brought me back from Italy. Still, the jelly rabbit was a big hit. I liked the mincepie tarts best. Not many of us really like mincepies - too much pastry, I think, which is why tarts work better. For mine, I used Robert's mum's trick of adding some cranberry sauce to the mincemeat so it's a little sharper then topped them with a sweet and pretty marzipan star.

Star tarts
225g plain flour
150g cold butter, diced
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon golden caster sugar
2 tablespoons cold water
Mincemeat mixed with cranberry sauce
100g marzipan

Preheat the oven to 180C / gas 4. Place the flour and butter in a food processor and pulse until it forms fine crumbs. Add the egg yolk, sugar and water and pulse again to form a firm dough.

Roll out the dough and use to line three 12-hole tart tins. Chill for 30 minutes.

Spoon the mincemeat mixture into the cases but don't overfill. Roll out the marzipan – use a bit of icing sugar if it starts to sticks. Cut out stars and place on top.

Bake for 15 - 20 minutes – if the mincemeat starts to bubble up too much, turn the oven down a little bit.

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