Adding macadamias to pastry makes a beautiful, soft-textured, flakey pastry just perfect for Christmas tarts. Combined with Christmas spices, these little tarts are delectable and make a very sweet gift.
For the fruit mince, combine all ingredients in a saucepan, except for the brandy or rum and the macadamias. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apples are soft and the mixture is thick. Stir in the brandy or rum and macadamias and allow to cool completely. Set aside.
For the pastry, place macadamias, butter, sugar, flour and cinnamon in a food processor and process until the mixture forms coarse crumbs. Add iced water and pulse until it forms a ball. Remove dough from the food processor and gently shape into a flat disc. Wrap in baking paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 150°C. Grease and line the base of 12 muffin cup moulds with circles of baking paper. Working in 2 batches, roll out half the pastry between 2 sheets of baking paper until 2mm thick. Gently place in the freezer for 5 minutes to cool. This will make the pastry easier to cut. Remove from freezer.
Using an 8cm round pastry cutter or upside-down glass, cut 6 circles out of the pastry. Using a small star cutter, cut 6 stars. Gently press each pastry circle into muffin moulds. Repeat with remaining dough. Place in the fridge to rest for 15 minutes.
Fill each pastry lined muffin mould with 1 tablespoon of fruit mince and place a pastry star on top. Place a half macadamia in the middle of each star. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before gently removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Loaded with good fats, vitamins and minerals, macadamias add a nutritious boost to sweet and savory dishes and the creamy, buttery taste and velvet-like texture makes a tantalising treat for the taste buds too.
For more information head to www.australian-macadamias.org
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