To finish the jar of meaty mincemeat, I made a lattice mincemeat tart. The pastry was a standard short crust pastry (two parts flour to one part fat) with the addition of a good spoonful of ground cinnamon and two large spoons of icing sugar. I combined these by hand to a fine breadcrumb texture before adding water to glue it all together into a ball. I rest my pastry for at least half an hour in the fridge if at all possible – this allows the fat to re-solidify and makes the pastry easier to work with. I used this pastry to line a greased foil pie dish.
I added a couple of spoons of sugar, and a good slug of brandy, to the mincemeat before putting it in the pastry case. To make the topping, I rolled out the excess pastry and cut it into thin strips laying it over the top in four stages. This is a cheaty lattice topping – lay the “vertical” strips at double the final spacing, followed by the “horizontal” strips, again at double spacing. Then, go back to vertical strips to fill in the gaps there, followed by the remaining horizontal gaps. It’s not quite a full inter-woven lattice, but it’s easier than trying that; the “lattice-cutters” you can get are cheating – they just make holes in the pastry which you can pull apart to get a single layer of pastry with the lattice-style holes in it – not the layers a lattice dictates! Anyway, about half-an-hour at about 180C, till the mincemeat is bubbling away and the pastry crisp and golden. Well, mostly crisp and golden – you may find some of the lattice goes soggy where it absorbs the suet from the mincemeat, but that’s part of the fun.
I served it still warm with a brandy sauce – made from milk, sugar, cornflour, and another good slug of brandy. It was good, and was aided, as I suspected, by the addition of a little more sugar to things!