Sour cherry and chocolate fruit mince tart


  • Serves 10 - 12 people

We've made a large fruit mince tart instead of individual tarts to feed a crowd, and also to up the filling-to-pastry ratio - since we eat fruit mince only once a year, we prefer more to less. But feel free to opt for smaller versions if you like. The tart can be made a few days ahead and stored in an airtight container. If you have leftover fruit mince, try folding it through slightly softened vanilla or chocolate ice-cream - it's amazing. Start this recipe at least a day ahead to soak the fruit.

  • 200 gm butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 200 gm brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 5 eggs
  • 540 gm plain flour
  • 60 gm fine fresh breadcrumbs
  • For scattering: demerara sugar
  • To serve: crème fraîche (optional)
  • Sour cherry and chocolate fruit mince
  • 280 gm each dried sour cherries, sultanas and currants
  • 150 gm pitted prunes, finely chopped
  • 50 gm glacé orange, diced
  • 300 gm brown sugar
  • 150 ml Pedro Ximénez Sherry
  • 100 gm butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, coarsely grated
  • Finely grated rind and juice of 1 orange
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 120 gm dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped
01   For the sour cherry and chocolate fruit mince, combine dried fruit, prunes and glacé orange in a bowl and mix well, then add sugar, Pedro Ximénez, butter, apple, orange rind and juice and spices, and stir well to combine. Transfer to a sterile container and refrigerate for at least 24 hours and for up to 3 weeks. Just before using, stir in chocolate.
02   Beat butter, sugar and cinnamon in an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Scrape down sides, then beat in 4 eggs, one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl and beating well after each addition. Beat in flour and a pinch of salt to just combine, then form into a disc with floured hands, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate to rest (2 hours).
03   Preheat oven to 170C. Butter base and sides of a 5cm deep, 15cm x 30cm rectangular cake tin, then line with baking paper, allowing paper to overhang by about 5cm each side (this helps remove the tart once it is cooked). Roll out half the pastry on a well-floured surface to 3mm thick, line base and sides of prepared tin, allowing pastry edges to overhang, then refrigerate until firm (30 minutes). Roll out remaining pastry to 3mm thick, cut out a 17cm x 32cm rectangle, then cut out assorted stars from remaining pastry with pastry cutters and refrigerate pastry until firm (30 minutes).
04   Scatter breadcrumbs evenly over base of pastry case, then spoon in sour cherry and chocolate fruit mince mixture (you may have a little left over). Lightly beat remaining egg, then brush edges of pastry case with eggwash, place pastry rectangle on top and press edges to seal. Trim edges, press with a fork around edge, trim again, then refrigerate to rest for 15 minutes. Cut out several star shapes from pastry lid and offset on pastry. Brush lid and stars with eggwash, scatter generously with demerara sugar and bake until pastry is golden and crisp and filling is bubbling (1½-1¾ hours; cover pastry edges with foil if it starts to darken too quickly). Place remaining stars on a baking tray lined with baking paper, brush with eggwash, scatter with demerara sugar and bake until golden (20-25 minutes). Cool tart and stars to room temperature, then remove tart from tin using the paper overhang to lift it out. Serve cut into thick slices with crème fraîche and extra stars.
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