For Genuine Highland Hospitality
In the heart of Highland Perthshire
I highly Recommend The Dunalastair Hotel

Mincemeat Tart

2 juicy apples, such as McIntosh, peeled, cored and diced
2 ripe pears, peeled, cored and diced
1/2 unpeeled navel orange, scrubbed and chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped dried figs
1/2 cup chopped dried tart cherries or dried cranberries
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons brandy or fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/4 cups all-purpose white flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten with 2 teaspoons water, for glazing
To make filling:
In a large saucepan, combine apples, pears, chopped orange, raisins, figs, cherries or cranberries, brown sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and salt. Pour in 1 1/2 cups water, bring to a simmer, cover the pan and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 60 to 70 minutes, or until the fruits are very tender. Uncover the pan and continue cooking until the mincemeat is very thick and the juices have evaporated, about 10 minutes longer. Stir in brandy or orange juice and butter and let cool to room temperature.

To make dough:
Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, stir together 1/2 cup of the flour, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, yeast and 1/2 cup warm water; let stand until the yeast starts to bubble, about 5 minutes. Stir in oil and salt. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough becomes too difficult to stir. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding flour if necessary, until the dough is firm and satiny but not dry, about 5 minutes. (Be careful not to add too much flour.) Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in bulk, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

To assemble and bake tart:
Place rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 375F. Lightly oil an 11-inch tart pan, preferably with a removable bottom, or coat it with nonstick cooking spray. Set one-fourth of the dough aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the remaining dough into a 15-inch circle. Fit the dough into the prepared tart pan, letting it hang over the edge of the pan. Spread the mincemeat filling in the pan. Fold the edge of the dough in over the filling. Roll out the reserved dough on the floured surface. With cookie cutters or a paring knife, cut out desired shapes and set them on top of the mincemeat. Lightly brush the cut-outs and border of the dough with egg glaze and sprinkle with the remaining 1 teaspoon sugar. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the crust is golden on top and browned on the bottom. If the top of the tart is browning too quickly, cover it loosely with aluminum foil. Place the tart on a wire rack to cool slightly. Remove the rim of the pan and serve the tart warm or at room temperature.

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