A Finnish tradition, this is always our welcome after coming in from the snowy weather caroling to our neighbors, with three generations improvising harmonies, kerosine lanterns, a dog in tow, and occasionally picking up a neighbor’s voice along the way. I helped my mother make these this year.
Christmas Prune Tarts (Pinwheel Tarts)
Adapted from the recipe by great grandmother Briita Nikola
Filling: Cook 1 pound pitted prunes in water to cover until very soft. Stir in ¼ cup sugar & 1 tbsp lemon juice. Put mixture while still warm in a blender & pulse until mixture is smooth. The prune filling can be made ahead of making tarts; store filling in covered container in fridge. The mixture thickens as it cools.
Sift 3 cups flour with 1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar
Blend into flour mixture with pastry blender
¾ pound butter and/or margarine
Into 2/3 cup cold water add
2 tbsp rum, brandy or bourbon
(more if you wish!)
Gradually mix liquid into flour until pastry forms into a cohesive ball
Store dough in fridge until ready to use.
Roll out small portions of dough to 1/8” thick.
Use a pastry cutter to make a square or rectangle.
Portion into small squares and cut diagonals for pin wheel formation.
Put a small teaspoon of prune mixture in the center of the square.
Fold over every other point to center.
Place on cookie sheet (no grease needed) & bake at 400 deg F for 10-12 minutes.
Remove tarts to brown paper (to absorb extra grease/butter)
Sprinkle with some powdered sugar (optional) & serve.s