Christmas Mince Chocolate Tart with Spiced Meringue

45 minutes + 50 minutes Serves 10

Ingredients

  • 2 sheets ready rolled sweet short pastry
  • 3 cups mixed finely chopped dried fruit (sultanas, cranberries, apricots, etc)
  • 1 granny smith apple, grated (including the skin)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 40g butter
  • 1/4 cup sherry or apple juice
  • 1 tsp mixed spice, plus ¼ tsp extra
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 50g dark eating chocolate, chopped
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 cup caster sugar, warmed in the microwave
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • Fresh berries, to serve
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Method

1. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Line a 23cm loose-based tart tin with pastry, trimming and patching to fit neatly. Chill.

2. In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the dried fruits, grated apple, brown sugar, butter, sherry (or juice) and 1 teaspoon of mixed spice. Bring to a simmer for 15 minutes or until thick and reduced. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then mix in the egg and fold in the chopped chocolate. Spoon into the chilled pastry-lined tin and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the filling is set.

3. Meanwhile, place the egg whites into a large bowl and beat with an electric beater. Add the cream of tartar and whip for 1-2 minutes until white and foamy. Gradually add the warm sugar, beating for 5-7 minutes or until the mixture is thick, white and glossy. Beat in the vanilla essence and extra ¼ tsp of mixed spice.

4. Spoon the meringue over the cooked tart and return to the oven for 4-5 minutes or until the meringue is caramelised with golden peaks.

5. Serve with fresh berries on the side.

Tip: Warm the sugar in the microwave for 1 minute or in a dry saucepan for a few minutes – this will make your meringue whip easily and stay fluffy.

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