Feed Your Holiday Sweet Tooth: Mastering Desserts with Chef Curtis Stone

I keep catching myself counting down the days until I get to sit down with my lovely family for a delicious holiday meal. Earlier this month, I shared some of my tips for hosting guests during this busy season while keeping the holidays low-stress. Today, I’m back to chat about one of my favorite parts of this time of year – dessert and coffee!

Once the table is cleared and the dishwasher is loaded, my whole family typically lights up with excitement. Clearly, I’m not the only one with a sweet tooth! To me, there’s something truly special about sitting down to celebrate the ones you love and indulging in sweet flavors and a steaming cup of coffee to wrap up my holiday dinner experience.

Pairing coffee with the perfect sweet treat

Sweets and coffee are deeply rooted in my childhood in Australia. Both my granny, Maude, and my mum, Lozza, make phenomenal desserts, and coffee is at the very heart of my hometown Melbourne’s food and drink culture. I love wandering into a great coffee shop in Melbourne and chatting with the baristas, learning about the origins and types of coffee beans they’re incorporating into their beverages. My passion for pairing artisanal coffee with the perfect sweet treat was established pretty early on in my life, so now I love sharing this part of my palate with my family and friends during the holidays.

When it comes to mastering the perfect holiday dessert and coffee spread, I like to keep things simple. One of my absolute favorite holiday sweet treats are my Mum’s Fruit Mince Tarts – the flavor really brings back childhood memories and just screams holidays! I’m including the recipe below so you can test it out these aussie favorites for yourself – I hope you love them!

Now, when it comes to coffee, I like variety depending on my mood or the time of day. That’s why I love the Bosch Built-In Coffee Machine with Home Connect which allows every guest to customize their coffee order exactly to their liking with the touch of a button. Writing all this down leaves me really looking forward to a tart and cappuccino after my holiday dinner!

Check out my mum’s recipe below and let me know if you have any questions about mastering dessert in the comments below!

Happy Holidays, guys!

Decadent Fruit Mince Tarts

Mum’s Decadent Fruit Mince Tarts

Makes: 24 small tarts
Prep Time: 30 minutes, plus 2 hours to rest
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Make-Ahead: The fruit mince filling can be made up to 3 months ahead, covered and refrigerated.

Ingredients
Fruit Mince Filling:
1 cup raisins, chopped
2/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup mixed candied citrus peel
1/4 cup currants
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and finely grated
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 tablespoons brandy
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
3/4 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
Pinch of salt

Pastry:

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 sticks chilled unsalted butter, cubed
1/4 cup or more ice water
1 large egg
4 teaspoons heavy cream
Powdered sugar, to dust

Directions
To make filling:
1. In a large bowl, stir all of the filling ingredients together. Cover and set aside for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to develop. Filling will make 34 tablespoons / about 2 cups.

Meanwhile, to make the pastry:
2. In a food processor, blend the flour, powdered sugar, and salt to blend. Add the butter and pulse until pea-size bits of butter remain. Pulse in 1/4 cup of the water until the mixture just comes together in beads. Add more water by the teaspoon if the dough is too dry. Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Flatten each into a disc, wrap separately in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 30 minutes, or freeze for up to 1 week.

To make pies:
3. Position rack in center of Bosch Wall Oven and preheat oven to 350°F using European Convection mode. Lightly oil two 12-hole shallow tart pans.
4. Roll out 1 dough disc on a lightly floured work surface into a 1/8-inch thickness. Using a round 2 1/4-inch cutter, cut out 12 rounds (slightly larger than the holes in the tins). Line each hole with a pastry. Repeat with the second pastry disc.
5. Divide the fruit mince evenly among the pastry cases.
6. Roll out the remaining pastry, a little thinner than before. Cut out stars, Christmas trees, or other desired shapes to place on top of the pie filling. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and cream and lightly brush over the pastry tops.
7. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the crusts are golden. Transfer the tins to a rack to cool for 5 minutes. Carefully remove the tarts from the tins and cool on the rack. Sift the powdered sugar over and serve.

Curtis Stone is a renowned chef, restaurateur, author, media personality, and a partner of Bosch home appliances. To learn more about Chef Curtis Stone, please visit www.CurtisStone.com .

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