For anyone who, like me, loathes Christmas pudding this is a lighter but festive alternative, berry-bright and fruity, with a welcome whiff of brandy. Oh, go on, you can atone later.
You can use home-made mincemeat and shortcrust but if you haven't had the time or inclination to make one or the other or both, use a bought all-butter pastry and jazz up a couple of jars of ready-made mincemeat with the suggestions below.
You'll need a 23cm loose-bottomed quiche tin.
Cranberry and Mincemeat Tart (serves 6-8)
400-500g shortcrust pastry
700g mincemeat (that was 2 jars of my home-made)
150g cranberries, fresh or frozen (defrosted if so)
2 tbsp brandy
Zest of 1 orange
Handful of flaked almonds
Icing sugar, for dusting (optional)
Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 and put in a baking sheet to heat up on the top shelf.
If you're tweaking shop-bought mincemeat or want to give an extra lift to home-made, add the orange zest, brandy and nuts and stir well to mix.
Grease the flan tin and roll out the chilled pastry to fit. Spread the mincemeat evenly over the base and scatter with the cranberries, pressing them gently a little way into the filling. You can use any pastry trimmings to add a wreath of holly leaves around the edge if you want to get fancy, or just let the berries take centre stage. Brush any trimmings with a little milk.
Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and golden. Remove and cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes before sliding gently onto a serving plate. Add, if you like, the lightest dusting of icing sugar, but try not to dim the jewel-like brightness of the cranberries. The tart is particularly good with clotted cream.