December 13, 2006

A Tale of Two Tarts

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I’ve got two types of tarts for you today, and no, I’m not one of them. Allow me to present the wondrous butter tart (applause heard all around) and the lowly mincemeat tart, (booo, hiss!). I had request for both of them and that’s the only reason a mincemeat tart was produced in my kitchen. Honestly, who eats this stuff and actually likes it? As far as I can tell, it’s like a fruit cake threw up in a tart shell and they called it mincemeat. Bleh. None for me thanks. If I’m going to be intaking calories, they’d better be good, like the ones found in chocolate, caramel, maple syrup and butter.

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I was happy with the way the butter tarts turned out, (if you’ve been paying any attention, you’ll know that’s because butter is an acceptable source of calories) they were super good right out of the oven, nice and warm and gooey. The recipe was courtesy of Joy of Baking, which I always seem to forget about for a while and then rediscover some time later. That site always has pretty pictures to accompany their recipes. As for the mincemeat, which isn’t even worthy enough to call itself a tart, I used the same pastry shell and then just threw in some store bought mincemeat. There was no way I was going through the trouble of actually making mincemeat for a measly two dozen tarts.

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Now then, the biggest problem I have with mincemeat, (other than the taste) is that it’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I hate to say it, but mincemeat tarts are fairly nice looking, what with their little star tops and dusting of icing sugar. It’s easy to get suckered in by looks and then fall victim to the awful taste of mincemeat. It seems like every year I unknowingly pick up a mincemeat tart because of how pretty it looks and how tasty it therefore must be. And every year I’m horrified to find out I’ve just taken a big bite of mincemeat and rush to rinse the taste out of my mouth with whatever happens to be closest; wine, gravy, cranberry sauce, it’s all good so long as it’s not mincemeat. However, since I’d like to think of my blog as educational, I believe we can all learn a valuable lesson from my misfortune: it’s what’s on the inside that counts. The pretty tart is poison, she’s nothing but trouble. Choose the plain tart, she’ll take good care of you. Looks fade, taste is forever.


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23 comments:

Abby said...

Our food columnist (I'm a newspaper copy editor) wrote a column about his love, and everybody's else's lack of love, for mincemeat just today. I can't get past the NAME. MEAT. UGH. At least yours are cute, though. I'll heed your warning and stay away!

foodiemama said...

they do look cute, esp the evil one, hehe!

Helene said...

both looks great, but I will go for the angel looking one!

K & S said...

never tried mincemeat but never liked the looks of it, plus I used to always thing that it had raw meat in it...blah! although, when I saw your photos, I would have probably been tricked into taking the pretty tart.

Scott at Real Epicurean said...

I'm happy that you're getting in the xmas spirit! I needed a good mincemeat recipe so I can make my own tarts.

Incidentally mincemeat historically had real meat in it. I'm full of useless information : )

joey said...

I have never tried mincemeat and, at the risk of sounding totally without a clue, I don't even know what's in it! It does sound a bit funky though...

Asha said...

The word ;tart' gets me everytime:D:D

Love both of them and the starry pattern on top.

angie said...

Love both tarts, good or evil :p

Jeff said...

I LOVE my grandmothers mincemeat pie! Wish I could have it one more time
-Jeff
www.cforcooking.com

Kristen said...

Oh - I'm laughing so hard at your mincemeat description!
They are beautiful little tarts though. You did a nice job.

Anonymous said...

mincemeat is good! at least if you make it yourself. get a bunch of pretty dried fruit and soaked it in rum - now how can that make a bad pie?

Gustad said...

mini tarts, nice~

puddlejumper said...

When I was little I didn't understand the difference between mincemeat and "sweetmeats".

Imagine Christmas tarts made out of them...eugh!

Mincemeat tarts are a good excuse to have a glass of mulled wine though...

veron said...

For a minute there I thought mince meat meant meat as in animal meat. Whew. Well , I'll go for the plain one then. You can't go wrong with butter!

Sara said...

Team Mincemeat! I love those little things. If only I lived closer to you, I would have gladly taken care of them for you.

Ros said...

I'm totally with you on the mincemeat hate thing. When i was litttle I used to take mince pies, scoop out the filling and then just eat the pastry.

Never had butter tarts but they sound pretty good.

Lis said...

Amen sistah!! Plain tarts represent!! Not that I'm a tart. Or that you're a tart. Well you could be a tart, how would I know? But I can say I'm not a tart.. anymore *cough*

(psstt.. no challenge is stupid.. just challenging *evil grin* MUAHAHAAAAAA!!)

PS - Are you getting complaints about people not being able to comment? Ever since I upgraded to the new beta version, I'm getting complaints and I just saw on Gattina's blog that she can't comment on beta blogger blogs either. Just wonderin'

aria said...

hahhaah your not one of them. butter tart YAAAYYY!! mincemeat, BOOOOO indeed. the butter looks and sounds SO goood. drooooooolydrooldrool

Jerry said...

Wow... those butter tarts look amazing.....

I haven't read your blog in a day or two and I came and found all kinds of interesting stuff!! ... it is making me SOOO hungry!

Jen the bread freak said...

Beautiful tarts, Brilynn! I must admit I feel the same about mincemeat...icky. But they are pretty...no, I will not be drawn in by them! The butter tarts are quite pretty as well :D

FreyaE said...

Aww, I made my own mincemeat this year (excluding currants which I hate) and prinked it up with quince brandy and it tasted really nice, very appley. Prior to me making my own mince pies and filling, I hated them. The stuff you get in jars over here (the UK) is pretty dire but some people love it! And yes, originally Mince Meat really did have diced beef in it. Not sure how it would taste!
Both tarts look great and I'd go for the other one actually!

Ellie said...

I, like you, think fruit mincemeat should be banned from the world - it is evil and must die. However, you're right in that mincemeat tarts are always the cutest ones.

However, I think I'll take those plain jane lookin' butter tarts anyday!

peabody said...

Ah, butter tarts. No one here in the states makes very good butter tarts...that I have found. I miss my aunt's butter tarts :(