Alternative Mince Pies
- Unsalted butter 85g room temperature
- Granulated sugar 50g
- Egg 1 (large free-range, yolk)
- Plain flour 140g
- Cinnamon 3/4 tsp ground
- Salt pinch
- Pear Caramel:
- Golden caster sugar 150g
- Pears 3 (medium-sized ripe, peeled, cored, chopped into 1cm pieces)
- Double cream 80ml
- Salt pinch
- Chocolate ganache:
- Dark chocolate 130g chopped
- Double cream 90ml
- Pecans handful to decorate
- Pastry: Beat butter and sugar until smooth, mix in egg yolk. Add flour, cinnamon and salt, mixing until dough just comes together. Divide into eight equal pieces and press into a deep tin; ensure pastry is even thickness base and sides. Prick bases of each tartlet, pop into freezer for one hour. Preheat oven to 190°C. Remove tart cases from freezer and bake for 7 minutes. Remove from oven, press flat any dough that has risen away from the edges. Return to oven and bake for a further 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and leave to cool.
- Pear Caramel: Heat sugar in a saucepan until it begins to melt at the edges. Stir caramelised edges into the middle until all sugar dissolves. Add chopped pears. Cook mixture for 10 minutes over a medium heat, until pears are soft and mushy. Squash pears and caramel together to form rough, mushy, thick liquid. Cook for one minute more then remove from heat and add double cream and salt. Blitz mix in a blender, transfer to a bowl and allow to cool at room temperature. Refrigerate until needed.
- Chocolate ganache: Heat cream until it begins to bubble. Remove from the heat and pour over the chopped chocolate. Allow to stand for about 45 seconds, then stir mix until combined to form smooth ganache.
- To assemble: Spoon 1 – 2 teaspoons of caramel into the base of each pastry case. Divide the ganache between the eight pies, pouring over the caramel layer and smoothing the top with a palette knife. Toast and finely chop a handful, sprinkle in middle of tart to decorate. Set tarts in the fridge.