More than 30 years ago I started making my own version of the mince pies I had met up with as a student at an English college. I am not into the filling that is traditionally used in England - too heavy, too greasy...
Over the years these have evolved into a fairly simple tart, perfect for any holiday you care to celebrate - adjust the shape you cut out accordingly! I use a star shaped cookie cutter I have had for as long as I can remember.
These are best the day they are made, though no one complains if they are a couple of days old, lol! I am making them today, in anticipation of family coming over...
I start by making the filling. This can be made way ahead of time and frozen - keeps very well. Or as long as a week before, and simply refrigerated.
Finely dice about 6 large apples, add a handful of raisins, some chopped nuts of choice (I used walnuts this year, but almonds or any you especially like would work well) and as much candied orange peel as you like (I like lots!). Add sugar to taste (I add none). Cook gently, till the apples start to turn mushy, stirring frequently.
When you are ready to make the tarts, prepare a plain pie crust, with your shortning and flour of chioce. I like 1/2 white flour, 1/2 whole wheat, and a pinch of cinnamon in the dough.
Roll out and cut into shapes with your cookie cutter of choice (needs to be fairly big!)
Fill center of each star with a tsp of the apple mixture, making sure raisins are covered - otherwise they tend to burn...
Bake at 350°F / 180°C till pie crust is golden.
Here is one for you! Enjoy!