Guest chef

Sarah Randell

Our very own food director, and former food editor to Delia Smith, Sarah has written more than 1000 recipes for the magazine. She is also author of the delightful baking book, Family Baking and Marmalade; A Bittersweet Cookbook.

follow on twitter

Mince pie shortbread tart with vanilla cream

  • Serves 12
  • Makes 1 hr 30 mins
  • Prep 2 hrs 20 mins, plus chilling
0.0/5 rating (0 votes)
Mince pie shortbread tart with vanilla cream
Mince pie shortbread tart with vanilla cream

step by step

  • 1For the pastry, put the flour and icing sugar into a food processor (or mixer) and add the butter, whiz for a minute or so until the mix resembles breadcrumbs. Mix the egg yolk with a teaspoon of cold water and add to the processor, whiz again briefly until the pastry comes together; adding a few more drops of cold water if necessary. Alternatively, rub the butter into the flour and icing sugar in a bowl by hand, then add the egg yolk and water and mix until the pastry comes together. Tip the pastry onto a lightly floured surface and bring it together with your hands to form a ball, then flatten into a disc. Wrap the disc in clingfilm and chill it for 30 minutes.
  • 2For the shortbread, use a food processor or hand mixer to mix the butter and sugar together with a pinch of salt for 3-4 minutes until pale and creamy. Or, do this by hand with a wooden spoon. Tip in the flour and mix again to combine, then put the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and bring it together with your hands. Shape the dough into a disc as you did with the pastry, wrap it in clingfilm and chill it for 20 minutes.
  • A giant mince pie with a crunchy, starry shortbread topping. The grapes in the filling add extra juiciness. If you don't have a rectangular tin, you can also make this in a 26cm loose-bottomed round tart tin.
  • 3Lightly grease and base line a 20cm x 28cm x 2.5cm-deep fluted tin (with a removable base). Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface slightly larger than the tin, then press into the tin to line it and chill for a further 20 minutes. Don't worry if it cracks a little, you can patch it up. Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6. Place a baking tray in the oven to heat up.
  • 4Line the pastry case with baking paper – scrunch it first before opening it out again and fitting it in to the pastry shell. Add baking beans (or uncooked rice) and put the tin on the hot baking tray and into the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Towards the end of the cooking time, take the shortbread out of the fridge to soften slightly.
  • 5After the 20 minutes, lift the paper and beans out of the pastry shell and bake the pastry case for a further 10 minutes, then set it aside to cool slightly. Meanwhile, roll out the shortbread on a lightly floured surface to about 5mm-thick and cut out star shapes using a mixture of different-sized cutters. (Bake any extra shortbread stars alongside the tart on a separate lined baking tray to eat as biscuits.)
  • 6Mix the mincemeat with the grapes and spoon into the tart case. Arrange the shortbread stars on top, sprinkle them with preserving or granulated sugar and bake the tart for 30-35 minutes or until the shortbread stars are lightly golden.
  • 7Whisk all the ingredients together for the vanilla cream, then chill. Serve the tart warm or cold, dusted with icing sugar, and with the vanilla cream alongside.
  • The larger granules of preserving sugar add a lovely crunch but you can use granulated sugar if you like
  • Recipe photograph by Ant Duncan

Get ahead

The pastry case can be baked and the shortbread stars can be made and cut out a day ahead; keep the stars on a sheet of baking paper in the fridge. The assembled tart is best baked on the day you want to serve it.

You will need

  • 2 x 411g jars mincemeat
  • 200g small seedless red grapes

For the pastry

  • 225g plain flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 125g cold butter, diced, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 large egg yolk

For the shortbread stars

  • 125g soft butter
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 175g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • a little preserving or granulated sugar, to sprinkle

For the vanilla cream

  • 1 x 300ml carton whipping cream, chilled
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • a few drops of vanilla extract

+ Nutritional Information