I know if you are a regular reader, you might be bored of my fascination with the different foods eaten for the same event in different countries. However maybe particularly living in a place that has people from all over, I find conversations about food traditions are a great way to learn and share. It was a recent conversation about Christmas that reminded me I really needed to have some mince pies again. But having been a bit unwell recently, I wasn’t really feeling like making full-blown pies. I decided to think up a quicker version. These easy mini mincemeat tarts were what I came up with, and I have to say, these may become a regular feature of our Christmas eating.
I was recently speaking with one of the other parents at my eldest son’s preschool who was debating what Christmas cookies to make. She explained that her mother had always made huge quantities, then doubled them to give some away. I, on the other hand, wasn’t brought up with cookies at all. I don’t think I am that unusual amongst Brits that instead, my mum always made a few Christmas cakes. If you’re not familiar, it’s a rich fruit cake that’s fed sherry in the weeks before you eat it then covered with marzipan and icing. I always loved helping to make them, then also pulling them out from under the bed to drizzle in the sherry! This was what we would typically serve guests visiting at this time of year. Then the other thing we often had was mince pies.
I don’t remember my mum ever making mincemeat, but having made it myself a couple years ago, I knew it was easy enough (and I liked being able to make my sugar-free mincemeat). I’ve had a few ideas of other ways to use the phyllo pastry cups I used in my berry phyllo cups with lemon cheesecake cream going around and so it wasn’t much of a leap to use them for these mini mincemeat tarts.
How they’re made
I haven’t called them easy mincemeat tarts for nothing. Even if you make your own mincemeat, as I did, that only takes about 20 minutes in all, and you can do that ahead. In fact it’s better if you do. Then, you simply put a little mincemeat in each of the phyllo cups, mix up the topping and pipe or dollop it on top (depending how fancy you want to be). If you like, feel free to simply use some whipped cream on top but personally I think the richness of mascarpone goes so well with everything else.
These mini mincemeat tarts are a great way to have a relatively light, mini-dessert or snack during the festive season. Being little bite-sized tarts they are great to serve guests at a party or to have alongside a warm drink on a cold day, as we have been having recently. Especially if you use ready-made mincemeat, they’re super easy and quick to put together, they’re a great last-minute treat.
- 1 box ready-made phyllo cups (15 cups)
- ¼ cup/4tbsp mincemeat (approx, either homemade using recipe linked above or bought)
- ¼cup/4tbsp mascarpone
- 2tsp maple syrup
- ⅛tsp cinnamon (or less, to taste)
- Put a spoonful of mincemeat into each of the phyllo cups.
- Mix together the mascarpone, maple syrup and cinnamon until well mixed. Spoon or pipe the mascarpone onto each of the mincemeat tarts and serve.
- note- I would typically serve these cool/room temp but you could warm them a little before putting the mascarpone on top as well.