This delicious pear and mincemeat tart is made with a melt in the mouth hazelnut and orange flavoured pastry. The pastry top is cut out using cookie cutters to give an attractive finish to the tart.
I'm a bit of a fan of mincemeat especially when it's homemade mincemeat so of course I do love mince pies and they are a favourite treat in the run-up to Christmas. But why limit yourself to mince pies when you can be making all sorts of delicious desserts with mincemeat.
Here I have mixed mincemeat with pears and I think this has to be my favourite combination and believe me I have tried many! The pears perfectly compliment the mincemeat and makes the filling much lighter and deliciously fruity.
For this tart you will need:
- Blanched hazelnuts
- Plain flour
- Butter – I use lightly salted you may want to add a pinch of salt to the pastry if you use unsalted.
- Egg – separated. The yolk add richness to the pastry and the white is beaten for the glaze.
- Orange – zest and juice
- Mincemeat – Homemade mincemeat is best and is very easy to make but if you do not have any, then a good quality jar of bought mincemeat will suffice.
- Caster sugar – to give a crisp sweet glaze
Hazelnut and orange pastry
The scrumptious pastry is what makes this tart so special. Flavoured with hazelnuts and orange it has a delicious biscuit like melt in the mouth texture.
The pastry is quite easy to make but you do need a food processor to make it as you have to grind the hazelnuts first. You may be able to buy ground hazelnuts but they can be difficult to find, some larger supermarkets sell them and they can be found online.
If you don't have a food processor and cannot get hold of ground hazelnuts then you could use ground almonds instead. Despite being a rich sweet pastry it is quite easy to handle. If you do have difficulty rolling it out, then rolling between two sheets of cling film or parchment will make it easier.
Blanched hazelnuts are those that have had their skins removed. You can buy them ready blanched or blanch your own. To do this spread them out in a layer on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes at 180℃ (160℃ fan)/350°F/gas mark 4. Then tip the nuts onto a clean tea towel and wrap them in the towel and leave for a minute or two. Then gently rub the nuts in the towel to remove the loose skins and leave cool completely.
Finishing the tart
When it comes to covering the top of the pear and mincemeat it is a chance for you to be creative. As I often serve this in the Autumn when pears come into season, I like to use some small leaf shaped cookie cutters and range them randomly on top just as if they have fallen from the trees.
If you were serving this at Christmas you could use a snowflake, star or Christmas tree shaped cookie cutter.
Alternatively, you could give the tart a lattice top as I have done in this lattice date tart the choice is really up to you.
Serving the tart
The pie is delicious served hot or cold. When warm the pastry has a softer texture so be warned being a large tart it can be tricky to remove from the tin. I find it best to let it cool so that it is warm rather than hot. Serve with lashings of custard for a fabulous dessert.
Once cold the pastry firms up and becomes crisp making it much easier to remove from the tin. It's equally delicious and can be served on its own with afternoon tea or morning coffee.
Whipped cream, clotted cream or ice cream are great accompaniments when serving hot or cold for dessert. For a special occasion try adding a little orange flavoured liqueur to whipped cream.
Pear and mincemeat tart step by step
1 Grind the hazelnuts in a food processor until very finely chopped.
2 Add the flour and sugar and blitz again.
3 Add the butter and blitz until it resembles fine bread crumbs. Then add the egg yolk.
4 Add the orange juice and blitz until the dough starts to form a ball, adding a little extra water if needed.
5 Rest the pastry before rolling out and using to line a large flan tin. Then chill for 30 minutes.
6 Combine the mincemeat, orange juice and pears. Spread the filling out in the flan case.
7 Roll out remaining pastry and cut out shapes. Arrange over tart leaving gaps so the filling can still be seen in places.
8 Brush the pastry with egg white and sprinkle with caster sugar. Bake in the centre of the oven until crisp and golden.
Pear and mincemeat tart
- food processor
- Rolling Pin
- 25cm (10in) deep fluted tart tin
- small knife
- mixing bowl
- lemon squezer
- fine grater
- large spoon
- small cookie cutters
for the pastry
- 100 g (3½oz) blanched hazelnuts
- 225 g (8oz) plain flour
- 25 g (1oz) icing sugar
- 175 g (6oz) butter, cut into cubes
- 1 egg, separated
- 1 orange
- caster sugar, to sprinkle
for the filling
- 4 pears, peeled cored and sliced
- 500 g (1lb 2oz) mincemeat
Prepare the pastry
- To make the pastry, place 100g (3½oz) hazelnuts in a food processor and blitz until very finely chopped. Add the flour and icing sugar, and blitz again.
- Add the butter and blitz until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Finely grate the zest from the orange and squeeze the juice. Then add the orange zest, 2 tablespoons orange juice and 1 egg yolk. Blitz in short bursts until the pastry starts to clump together ading a little more oarnge juice if required.
- Tip out onto a work surface and finish bringing the pastry together with your hands to form a dough. Cover and allow to rest in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- Roll out about ¾ of the pastry and use to line a 25cm (10in) deep round flan tin or pie dish. Prick the base with a fork and chill for 30 minutes.
Prepare the filling
- Meanwhile, mix 500g (1lb 2oz) mincemeat in a mixing bowl with the remaining orange juice together in a bowl. Add 4 peeled, cored and sliced pears and gently combine.
- Preheat the oven to 190℃/180℃ fan/gas mark 5. Pile into the pastry case and level the top as evenly as possible.
- Roll out the remaining pastry and use a cutter to cut out shapes and place over the top of the filling overlapping but leaving a small amount of the filling showing through in places.
- Lightly beat the egg white with a fork and brush over the pastry shapes and sprinkle with a little caster sugar.
- Bake in the oven for 35 – 40 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. Allow to cool slightly before serving. Alternatively, cool completely and serve cold.
I am sharing this post up to #CookBlogShare hosted at The Glutenfree Alchemist