Vanilla Zulu Orange, Pistachio and Vanilla Christmas Mince Pie with spun sugar bling

 

Tart shell

1 ½ cups / 180g plain flour

60g almond meal, toasted

½ cup / 110g sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

140g cold butter, chopped 

Zest of 1 Orange 

2 tablespoons pistachio (no shell)

 

Method 

 

This is the easiest pastry to make.  You can also make this by hand, just use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour and then stir in the remaining ingredients, but a food processor is super easy and will only take one minute!  Place all ingredients in a food processor and combine until the mixture comes together like a soft ball, about a minute. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

CHEFS NOTE: I know that rolling out pastry can be stressful, so this recipe is designed just to be pressed into a baking tin or silicone or steel tart shells.  You can use your fingers to help shape the dough into the cases or large tin, use a flat item such as a bowl to help with the bigger areas you need to press down. I also don’t bake blind, but you can if you always do, I’m far too lazy and simply press the pastry shell down as I grab it out the over, with the back of a soup spoon for the smaller ones, just press down and reshape while the pastry is still hot and you omit the need to bake blind.  

Press pastry into tart cases and trim. Bake in a moderate oven (170°C) for 10 minutes until just slightly browned, while still hot shape with the back of a soup spoon so that the base is flat again.  Allow to cool. 

Filling

1 jar Christmas Mince Mix

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

1 pinch nutmeg

1 pinch cloves

1 pinch cinnamon

½ cup toasted pistachio nuts 

Method 

 

Simply add the vanilla and spiced to the store bought fruit mince just to give it more personality and then add the cooled cases.

 

I topped these with a dollop of vanilla scented cream, and some sugar glass or spun sugar.

 

 

Note: you can use a large tart case with this recipe. Your cooking times will vary.

Spun sugar

Simply dissolve 1 cup sugar and half a cup of water together in a frying pan. Boil hot and fast until caramel and brown in colour.  While the sugar is boiling, get a large baking sheet or ceramic tile and spray with canola spray.  When the sugar is nice a brown and caramel in colour remove from heat.  Plunge two forks into the sugar and then, back to back, start working the sugar until it starts making threads.  Let the threads fall onto the greased surface taking care not to burn yourself!  Keep using a new spot every time you reload your forks with more caramel sugar.  You’ll be surprised how easy this is!

 

Can be stored in a zip lock bag in the fridge or freezer if you want to do this in advance!