Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Post Christmas sweet & savoury tarts using whatever you have to hand ...

Hi everyone

Please tell me I am not the only one who opens my fridge & cupboards on Boxing Day & thinks ‘why did I buy this & what am I going to do with it?

I always buy in ready made puff & shortcrust pastry rolls (shhhh some of us have never made puff pastry) to have on standby during the festive season.

The puff pastry can become pies, cheese straws, cheese & bacon palmiers etc. It is also used for my standby Boxing Day plait.

I have made a variation on this recipe for years - a great standby that looks good too.

You will need:

A roll of puff pastry

500ml of white / mustard / cheese sauce (whatever your preference)

A bowl of leftover meat, vegetables & stuffing from the festive meal

Cut the meat & vegetable in to bite sized pieces; it will be a mix of sweet & savoury which reflects the meals we eat at Christmas - sweet parsnips, carrots, broccoli, Brussel sprouts , potatoes, stuffing balls, turkey, pigs in blankets etc

Mix it with the white sauce & season very well - I used chilli flakes, salt, pepper & herbs.

Roll the pastry out & visually think of it as thirds - the centre third will be for the filling while the two end sides with be cut to form strips that will be plaited over the filling.

I put mine on a double layer of baking parchment at this stage.

The start plaiting from the side - the first part is tucked over the filling, brush the sides with water to help it stick, then it is simply one side, then the other all the way down the pastry, trying to lay them side by side to encase the filling. I put the stuffing on the top of the filling just under the pastry. We had both meat & vegetarian stuffing so that will add a nice touch similar to a beef wellington with its topping.

The last section is folded over to encase the last of the filling then the last strands are tucked over.

It will get an egg wash before being baked in a hot oven of about 200C till well risen & brown.  Ours will be served with fresh green vegetables (asparagus, beans & broccoli stems), homemade cranberry sauce (cranberries cooked with freshly squeezed pink grapefruit & caster sugar) & a warming ginger punch. It needs to go into a hot oven - 220C at first or even on to a metal tray that has been heating in the oven so that the bottom is crisp.

To accompany this I decided to make a sweet tart with a few of the lovely things in the fridge & cupboard too.

I rolled out the bought shortcrust pastry, lined a loose base, fluted pie dish & blind baked it for 10 minutes at 180C with parchment & baking beans to hold the shape. While it was baking I rolled a circle of thin marzipan, large enough to fit in to the bottom of the pie dish. When I removed the baking beans. I added the marzipan circle to the base, pricked through both & returned it to the oven for a further 10 minute.

I had 5 tart cooking apples which I peeled, cored & sliced in to wedges then briefly cooked with cloves only in the water - I did not add any sugar because I did not want any additional sweetness.

A jar of luxury mince meat (for those no familiar with it, festive mince meat is a fruit based filling used in mince pies) was mixed in a bowl with additional stem ginger, mixed peel & a little sherry.

I warmed a small tub of mascarpone cheese with a little honey till it was runny & pourable.

Once the pastry came out of the oven, I spread the mince pie mix over the base , then arranged the apple wedged in a circle on top before pouring the mascapone & honey mix on top of the apples then  returning it to the oven for a further 15 minutes till it had set.

Hot out of the oven, crisp marzipan pastry, tart apples under the honeyed mascarpone topping - gorgeous flavours that are reminiscent of mince pies with a twist. 


The proof is in the taste - it tastes if Christmas all rolled in to a stunning pie - it does not need cream because of the mascarpone on the apples. The sweetness of the mince meat flavours the apple topping & the pastry / marzipan base held up well & the combination was perfectly lovely.

What do you buy in ‘just in case’ in the holidays & how do you use it?  Thank you for stopping by at this busy time & for leaving a comment,
Dee ~💕~

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