Use different cookie cutters or aspic cutters to create fun toppers for each of these dried-fruit tartlets, or cut decorative vents with a sharp knife.
- 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped mixed dried fruit, such as golden raisins, cherries, cranberries, and figs
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
- 2 tablespoons brandy
- All-purpose flour, for working
- 1 recipe Basic Pastry Dough
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- Coarse or sanding sugar, for decorating
In a medium saucepan, bring dried fruit and cider to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat and simmer until liquid is almost absorbed, 8 minutes. Transfer fruit mixture to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped but not pasty. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in pecans and brandy. (To store, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate, up to 1 week.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to an 1/8-inch thickness. With a 3 1/2-inch cookie cutter, cut dough into 12 rounds, then press rounds into 12 standard muffin cups (dough should come 3/4 inch up sides). Divide fruit mixture among cups and brush edges with egg. With a 2 1/2-inch cookie cutter, cut remaining dough into 12 smaller rounds (reroll scraps if necessary). With lightly floured decorative cutters or a knife, cut out shapes from smaller rounds (or cut slits to vent). Place on tartlets, pressing lightly at edges to seal. Brush tops with egg and sprinkle with sugar. Freeze until firm, 10 minutes (or up to 1 day).
Bake until tartlets are golden brown, 25 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. Let cool in pan, 5 minutes. Run a thin knife around each tartlet; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
SourceEveryday Food, December 2010