WHAT COULD be better than to celebrate the summer holidays with a special treat on your next tramp. This tart is amazingly simple to make in a frying pan and tastes delicious. The basic recipe contains Christmas fruit mince, but if you want to make it go a little further for a larger group then just add some pre-soaked dried fruit like apples, peaches or apricots.
300g Christmas fruit mince
250g puff pastry
Butter for cooking
Flour for dusting
Brandy sauce ingredients
1 miniature bottle of brandy
1 tsp ground arrowroot
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp brown sugar
At home: Pack ingredients into separate bags. Carry the pastry separately to keep it cool.
In camp: Find a clean surface and roll out the pastry (you might use an empty wine bottle discarded in the hut, or a clean piece of round log from the wood shed).
Place some butter in the base of a frying pan and lay the pastry so that it hangs over the sides. Arrange the filling in the centre and fold the surplus pastry back over the top. Leave a hole in the middle for the steam to escape.
Cook on a medium heat for about 15 minutes, or until the bottom of the pastry is golden brown. Turn it over to cook the top side for another 10 minutes.
To make the brandy sauce, combine the arrowroot, sugar, brandy and butter with ½ cup of water. Bring it to a low boil just long enough to allow the butter to melt and the sauce to thicken.
Serve the tart in wedges with the brandy sauce over the top.
Make your own pastry
Store-bought puff pastry will keep reasonably well for two or three days if you keep it cool, but if this is not convenient, make simple pastry dough just like the old pioneers did. Combine 2 cups of flour and ½ cup of butter cut into cubes, with a pinch of salt and add ½ cup water. Mix into a stiff dough. Leave in a cool place to rest.
– Paul Garland is the co-author of New Zealand Backcountry Cooking which is available at a special discount for Wildcard holders