Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Sun 24 Feb 2008

Anyone reading Eating Leeds regularly will realise how much I love pastry. Contrary to all the advice I was given as a child, eating it raw does not give you a stomach ache, and when cooked it is a fabulous, versatile wrapping for both sweet and savoury foods.

I am also a not-so-closet fan of James Martin. As Andy says "he's from Yorkshire and he makes puddings". Yes, indeed, that is really all you need to know. So, when it came to picking a recipe from a recent acquisition, James Martin's Desserts I headed straight to the mincemeat and apple jalousie.

This also appeared because I had almost a full jar of mincemeat left over from making mince pies at Christmas (and you know you have one too, lurking in your fridge!). You needn't fuss too much about quantities for this as you just make sure you cut the pastry to suit your filling.

To my remaining mincemeat I added 2 tbsp of rum, half an apple, peeled and finely chopped, and pinches of ground cloves, ground mace and ground allspice. This was an approximation for the mixed spice used in the recipe. I omitted the orange zest.

Preheat oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with some baking paper. Give your puff pastry a light roll and cut a piece to make your base. Spread on your filling, making sure you leave a good couple of centimetres gap around the edge. Brush this with a lightly beaten egg.

Now make your jalousie lid ... take the piece of pastry you'll use as topping and lightly fold it in half. Cut diagonal slats in it and then, carefully, put it on top of your filling, opening it out. Press down around the edges, trim if you want. Brush the top with beaten egg and sprinkle with some caster sugar.

At this point, I was wailing: "it doesn't look like it does in the book". The puff pastry was a little tricky to handle and my slats had turned more to ribbons that folded back on themselves. Not to worry - despite not being even slats, my finished tart still looked lovely.

Bake for half an hour, until golden and bubbling. Serve with plenty of cream, and perhaps a glass or two of an Australian muscat (I particularly recommend the Yalumba Museum Muscat - loads of raisiny, dried fruit, spicey flavours). Wonderful warm or cold!

  • use bought puff pasty - although even if you buy pre-rolled I recommend a light turn with the rolling pin
  • you could easily omit everything bar the mincemeat - then there'd really be no chopping or measuring!
  • you can substitute any filling you like ... sliced apples covered in sugar are also good!
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