With this region’s close ties to Ireland, Scotland and Britain, an east coast Canadian Christmas often features a traditional mincemeat pie.
Mincemeat evolved over centuries into the sweet, spicy (and often boozy) dark fruit mixture that it is today. And – despite its name – it doesn’t contain meat. (Some companies may still include suet in their recipes, however, so vegetarians should check the ingredients just to make sure.)
If you want to make your own, try this recipe from Canadian Living. I buy mine – one jar is usually enough to make two batches of these Apple Mincemeat Crumble Tarts.
These tarts balance the somewhat strong flavor of mincemeat and make it less overwhelming.
If you prefer, you can forgo the tart shells and prepare this as a simple crisp. Tarts, however, have the advantage of not needing cutlery or plates (and anything that cuts down on dishes at this time of year is a good thing.)
If you use pre-made tart shells, you can have these in the oven in the time it takes to peel and chop a few apples and stir together some crumble.
Merry Christmas, and Best Wishes for the New Year from New Brunswick.
(Can’t find mincemeat, or want to make your own? Try my easy (vegan) Slow Cooker Mincemeat.)
- 20 3-inch / 8 cm tart shells
- 2 cups / 500 ml mincemeat
- 2 cups / 500 ml peeled chopped apples (about 1/2-inch / 1.25 cm cubes)
- 1/2 cup / 125 ml roughly chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 tablespoon / 15 ml flour
- 1/2 cup / 125 ml all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup / 125 ml brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon / 2.5 ml cinnamon
- 1/3 cup / 80 ml butter cubed
- 1/2 cup / 125 ml oatmeal
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F / 176 degree C.
Combine mincemeat, apples, cranberries and flour and mix until thoroughly blended.
To make crumble: In separate bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar and cinnamon.
Toss butter cubes in the flour and sugar mixture. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut butter into flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Add the oatmeal and mix. The mixture may be very clumpy, so you can use your hands if necessary to mix.
Place tart shells on baking sheets.Fill the tart shells with the apple filling. Top with about 1 tablespoon / 15 ml of crumble.
Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. The filling should be bubbling and the topping should be golden brown.
Remove tarts from oven and let cool before serving.