Mince Pie Recipe

MincePieTower

Mince Pies are amazing! They are one of my favourite Christmas treats, particularly as you only get to eat them once a year. Even better than mince pies are homemade mince pies, eaten hot out the oven- dusted with icing sugar..

I tried out a new recipe this year- from Mary Berry’s Christmas collection (You may be able to tell I am really loving this cookbook this year.) I made a couple of variations, one that I didn’t use the zest of one orange in the pastry, and the other being that I used milk instead of a beaten egg to glaze it. As I was using my homemade mincemeat, I figured that I didn’t need the orange zest because it already had plenty of flavour.

It is a super simple pastry recipe and I love it! It is very quick to make, and uses a food processor.

You will need one or two bun tins. Depending on how thinly you roll your pastry you can make between 12-18 mince pies.

MincePie

Ingredients

  • 175g plain flour
  • 75g butter, cut into cubes
  • 25g icing sugar
  • 1 egg beaten
  • Jar of mincemeat (there will probably be leftover)
  • Milk to glaze
  • Icing sugar or caster sugar for glazing

Mince Pie Sugar

To make the pastry, measure the flour, butter and icing sugar into the food processor bowl. Process until it resembles breadcrumbs. Pour in the egg and pulse until the dough begins to form a ball. Knead lightly on a floured surface.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan

Roll the pastry out thinly and cut out 12-18 rounds. Use to line the bun tins. Spoon a generously heaped teaspoon of mincemeat into each pastry case.

Re-roll the leftover pastry and cut out stars using a star cutter. Put a star on top of each mince pie and brush with milk.

Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 mins until golden and crisp. Allow to cool slightly, and dust with icing sugar or caster sugar before serving.

These mince pies can be frozen for up to a month (and defrosted at room temperature before reheating) or stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. They can be reheated in an oven at 160°C/140°C Fan for 8-10 mins. If so don’t dust with icing sugar until ready to serve.

MincePieIcingSugar

Finally enjoy!

I’d love to hear peoples favourite Christmas treats!

Mincemeat Recipe

Mincemeat

Mincemeat is something I have been wanting to make for several years. It isn’t that it takes that long to make, but there are a lot of ingredients in it, which makes it a bit of a commitment to make. I really wanted to make a mincemeat with cranberries in, as I loved some cranberry mince pies that they sold at Sainsbury’s a couple of years ago and figured that homemade would be even better!

I found the recipe in Mary Berry’s Christmas collection, a great recipe book that I would highly recommend for awesome looking Christmas recipes. I like that this recipe can be made in advance- it lasts up to 6 months, and makes 4 x 370g jars. I used some big 600g compote jars- although I would have used smaller if I had them!

A jar of this would be a great Christmas present for someone you love.

To make this recipe you need sterilised jam jars to put it in to ensure the contents don’t go off. In order to do this heat the over to 140°C/120°C Fan. Wash jars in hot soapy water and rinse well. Then place them on a baking tray and put them in the oven to dry completely. Spoon the mincemeat in whilst the jars are still hot! Here’s a great guide.

Ingredients

  • 175g currants
  • 175g raisins
  • 175g sultanas
  • 175g dried cranberries
  • 100g mixed peel
  • 1 small cooking apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • 125g butter cut into cubes
  • 50g whole blanched almonds, chopped
  • 225g light muscovado sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 200ml brandy(my choice), rum or sherry

Measure all the ingredients except the alcohol into a large pan. Heat gently, ensuring the butter melts. Then simmer very gently, stirring occasionally, for around 10 minutes.

Allow the mixture to completely cool. Then stir in the alcohol.

Spoon the mincemeat into the sterilised jam jars- see above for how to sterilise. Seal tightly and store in a cool place.

Mincemeat Jar

There’s several recipes I want to try with this mincemeat- but I will be posting up a mince pie recipe soon!

American Light Christmas Cake Recipe

American Light Christmas Cake

It is the season to be baking now that we have reached December! I decided to post about this Christmas Cake now, rather than doing another post that I was planning on due to the fact that this cake needs time to rest for Christmas- leave it much later and it won’t be at its best!

I have been wanting to make a Christmas cake for several years now, but have never got around to it due to them being fairly time and labour intensive. And because I was never prepared enough to make it in advance!

This year however I was determined to make one. I used a recipe I found in Mary Berry’s Christmas Collection. It is a recipe book I got last Christmas and didn’t get around to using, but have been finding it invaluable for ideas this year around!

I decided on the American Light Christmas cake for a few reasons- it is supposed to be lighter than a classic Christmas cake that I often find too much, it contains pineapple and almonds which I love in cakes and it doesn’t contain any alcohol- which I thought would keep it lighter tasting.

Sadly I can’t try this cake yet as it is put away ready for Christmas. Hence the backdrop of tinfoil as I unwrapped it to take pictures! I will update with pictures of it cut, and how I liked it(and post pictures on twitter/ instagram) once I cut it. (It smells delicious.)

I used an 8 ½ inch deep cake tin instead of the 9in recommended as I didn’t have one and it worked fine. Ensure to grease well and line the base and sides with a double layer of greased baking paper.

American Light Christmas Cake

Ingredients

  • 350g glacé cherries (chopped into quarters and rinsed/ drained on kitchen roll.) Plus extra whole for decoration
  • 1x 200g can of pineapple in natural juice (roughly chopped and very well drained on kitchen paper-if left wet the cake may go mouldy.)
  • 350g no-soak dried apricots (Snipped with scissors into raisin sized pieces.)
  • 100g whole blanched almonds, chopped. Plus extra whole for decoration.
  • Finely grated zest of two lemons
  • 350g sultanas
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 250g butter, softened (the softer it is the easier it will be to make!)
  • 75g ground almonds
  • 5 eggs

Preheat oven to 160°C/140°c Fan. Make sure the deep cake tin is prepared as above. (greased and lined base and sides with greased baking paper)

Place the prepared fruits and nuts into a large mixing bowl with the lemon zest and gently mix. Add the remaining ingredients (Flour, sugar, butter, ground almonds and eggs) and beat well until smooth. Pour into the prepared cake tin. Level the surface and smooth. Decorate the top with whole blanched almonds and halved glacé cherries.

Bake in the preheated oven for around 2 ¼ hours until golden brown. Use a cake tester or skewer to test- if it comes out clean it is ready. After one hour, if the cake is getting too brown cover loosely with foil.

Leave in the tin to cool for 30 mins then turn onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

If desired you can glaze the cake by mixing 100g icing sugar with enough water to make a thin icing. Drizzle decoratively over the top of the cake (I haven’t decided whether or not to do so yet!)

Finally wrap in tin foil and keep in a cool, dry place. Mary recommends ideally making the cake 1 month ahead, so if you want to make it for Christmas make it soon!

It is a fairly labour intensive cake due to all of the chopping, and it takes quite a while due to the long baking time but I feel like Christmas is the time to have something a little special.

American Light Christmas Cake

I’d love to hear any Christmas baking recommendations people have!

Espresso Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls

Espresso Cinnamon Rolls

After buying yeast in order to make pizza, I realised that this meant I could once again tackle one of my favourite breakfast items- Cinnamon Rolls. However if I was actually going to make them for breakfast I required a quick recipe, one without the usual long resting periods for the dough to rise. If I am going to wake up and make Cinnamon Rolls I want them done within an hour and a half or less!

For this I turned to joythebaker, and a recipe that I had been eyeing up since January! The recipe is for Quick and Dirty Chocolate Espresso Cinnamon Rolls. I figured that if there was anything that could make cinnamon rolls better, it would be chocolate and coffee! Joythebaker is one of my favourite blogs to check for american baking recipes.

According to the recipe it takes under an hour, and I would say that with practise I could make it that quick. Currently it probably takes me about an hour and a half, including time for measuring etc.

The recipe makes six cinnamon rolls, and they are still fairly delicious the next day (if there are any left.) I used a brownie tin to bake them in which was the absolute perfect size.

My boyfriend found the dark chocolate chips too intense for his liking, so the next time that I make these I will try using milk chocolate instead. I found that I had too much glaze as I don’t like too much glaze on my cinnamon rolls, therefore next time I make them I will halve it or make ¾ of the amount.

Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients- Dough

  • ½ Cup Whole Milk
  • 2 tbsp. Butter
  • 2 tbsp. Granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp dry yeast
  • 1 ½ to 2 cups plain flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 large egg yolk

Ingredients- Filling

  • 6 tbsp butter melted
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp instant espresso powder
  • ¾ tsp cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

Ingredients- Glaze

  • ¾ cup icing sugar
  • ½ tsp instant espresso powder
  • 3 tbsp double cream (or enough for pourable glaze)

In a saucepan combine milk, butter and sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves and the butter has melted. Remove from heat and leave to cool until just warm.

Place milk mixture in a mixing bowl and sprinkle over the yeast. Stir. Leave for 5 mins to allow yeast to activate.

Add 1 ½ cups flour, salt and the egg yolk to the milk mixture then stir with a wooden spoon until mixed together. Add more flour, a tbsp at a time if the dough feels too wet. Bring the dough into a ball and knead with hands briefly.

Cover bowl with clingfilm and leave for 10 minutes, preferably in a warmish place.

Roll out dough on a floured work surface into a roughly 9 x 12 inch rectangle.

Spread with ¾ of the melted butter (roughly) Stir together the filling ingredients, minus the chocolate chips and butter. Sprinkle it over the melted butter on the rectangle of dough. Sprinle with chocolate chips. Roll starting at the longer edge into a tight coil.

Slice into 6 pieces using a sharp knife or dough cutter.

Use the remaining butter to grease the bottom and sides of the baking pan. Place rolls in leaving a little room between them. Cover with clingfilm and leave to rise in a warmish place for 30 mins.

Preheat the over to 180°C. Remove clingfilm and bake for 18-20 mins (or until golden brown.)

Remove from oven and allow to slightly cool. Whisk together glaze ingredients and drizzle over the warm rolls.

Finally enjoy!

Espresso Cinnamon Rolls