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Holiday Mince Tarts

Mince tarts 1 - holiday mince tarts

There are few sweets I love as much as mince tarts during the holidays – my Grandma made the very best ones, and I’ve been hesitant to follow in her footsteps, not wanting to alter that memory of her tarts. But this year I went ahead and made my own mincemeat – finally! – and it was simple and amazing, and I’ll never buy a jar again.

Although – I do love jarred mincemeat, and there’s nothing wrong with using it to make tarts. Whatever mincemeat you use, here’s a simple formula for turning them into tasty holiday tarts.

Mince tarts 2 - holiday mince tarts

Mince Tarts


1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup butter, chilled and cut into pieces
¼ cup ice-cold water

2-3 cups mincemeat

milk or cream and sugar, for brushing/sprinkling (optional)

In a large bowl or the bowl of a food processor, stir together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and use a fork, pastry blender, wire whisk or the “pulse” motion of the food processor to blend the mixture until it resembles coarse meal, with lumps of fat no bigger than a pea.

Drizzle the water over the mixture and stir until the dough comes together, adding a little more a bit at a time if you need it. Gather the dough into a ball, flatten it into a disc, wrap it in plastic and let rest 20-30 minutes.

To bake the tarts, preheat the oven to 375?F and roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface to about ¼-inch thick. Cut out circles with a cookie cutter or glass rim and press into ungreased muffin tins – regular or mini. Reroll the scraps once and cut out small rounds, stars or other shapes if you want your tarts lidded.

Fill each pastry cup with mincemeat and either leave open or lay a cut-out piece of pastry on top. If you like, brush with a little milk or cream and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden. Let cool until warm, then run a thin knife around the edge to remove them from the pan. Makes about 1 dozen tarts.

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