Monday, 6 August 2012

Christmas Is Coming... Some Of My Favourites...

These are a really decadent Christmas indulgence...
Some prunes... 
Some lemon zest...
And a bottle of gin 
Pack prunes into a nice shaped jar. Put lemon zest in between. Press down, cover with gin and Hey presto!
In 6 months you will have absolutely the most delicious heavenly 'Liqueur Chocolate'. .
On a cheeseboard they are sensational.
Also eat as a snack with pre-dinner drinks...
Or as a desert... Perhaps with home made ice cream - Recipe tomorrow.
Put into small jars to give as gifts.


500gr apples unpeeled (I use Granny Smith, I like the tartness)
125gr suet (I buy in a box at supermarket)
225gr raisins (I like the fat sticky Lexia raisins)
500gr brown sugar
125gr candied lemon peel
225gr currants
2 teasp mixed spice
1/2 teasp salt
Juice & grated rind of 1 lemon
Mince fruit and suet. Mix all ingredients together.
Add brandy - as much as you like.
I add lots... It's a preservative.
With lots of brandy it will  keep for a very long time... And keep maturing in flavour. 
I make this mincemeat at least 6 months prior to Xmas...
 Sometimes I make double and keep some till the following year.
I also use it during the year as a topping over home made ice cream.
A dinner party favourite.

For those who are fans, above is my recipe for these little pies. I keep them in the freezer and just defrost them when I want them.
They make beautiful gifts.
Last year I gave a friend a dozen and he ran a blind tasting with his family, pitting home made pies against shop bought - home made won hands down!

You can 'lid' these pies any way you want. I like the stars (I've tried other shapes like hearts; nothing seems to work as well as stars), sometimes I put a full lid with a glace cherry or blanched almond on top.  

I used to make these pies with my Mum. 
It is a tried and true recipe passed down my family.
Mince or whizz with a 'stick' to be as fine or chunky as you like.

I always use the Neenish Tart pastry recipe from the Edmonds book. It suits fruit mince pies really well, it's sweet - but doesn't crumble when you bite into it spilling fruit mince all down your front! 
It can be used straight away or refrigerated or frozen in portions for later use.
Recipe below...

There are other uses for Christmas fruit mince...
Try it in muffins... or in small filo pastry parcels.
Make cinnamon buns adding fruit mince...
Or a bread wreath with fruit mince spread through the dough.

2 cups flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 teasp baking powder
1 teasp baking soda
pinch star anise
pinch gr cloves
75gr butter
1 cup milk or buttermilk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup fruit mincemeat
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 eggs, beaten
1 teasp grated orange zest
chopped glace cherries or cranberries to garnish
icing sugar for dusting or make a runny icing & drizszle over

Mix flour, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda and spices together.
Melt butter, add milk, stir in sugar then mincemeat & berries. 
Whisk in the eggs & zest.
Fold wet mixture into dry mix. Do not overmix.
Spoon into tins or paper cases.
Cook 180deg 20-25 mins.

1 comment:

  1. O I can smell and almost taste these yummy things. You are so amazing at taking what you are so good at and using it to bring joy to others.