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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Christmas is on its way!

This year has flown by and I can’t believe it’s nearly the festive season! With that in mind – here are a couple of recipes that you can prep ahead and freeze. The fruit mince is beautifully studded with dried cranberries, pecans and citrus zests, giving that extra twist this Christmas. Fruit mince also makes a lovely edible gift.

I'll be back with more festive treats throughout the next few weeks.

Enjoy the sun!


Zesty fruit mince

Makes: 1kg
Time to make: 5 minutes plus 24-48 hours soaking time

1 orange, zest only
1 lemon, zest only
1 apple, grated with skin on
1 cup raisins
1 cup sultanas
½ cup currants
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup dried prunes, roughly chopped
1 cup glace cherries
70g Pecan halves, crushed
2 teaspoons ground Allspice
1/3 cup brandy

1. Combine the above ingredients into a large bowl. Cover with cling film and leave for 24-48 hours to soak, stirring every 6 hours or so. 
2. Fill jars with mince meat and refrigerate until required or place into the freezer and use within 6 months.

How to sterilize a jar – Heat oven to 130oc, wash and dry jars and lids, place onto baking tray and leave for 5-7 minutes until piping hot. Carefully remove from oven and leave to cool. Fill with mincemeat and seal tightly.

Sweet mince tarts

Makes: 24 small tarts or 12 large tarts
Time to make: 45 minutes plus 30 minutes resting time

200g plain flour/Gluten free baking mix
1 tablespoon icing sugar
100g butter, cubed and cold
8 tablespoons ice cold water
Spray oil or butter for greasing
1 egg, lightly beaten OR milk to glaze
Portion of fruit mince
Extra icing sugar to decorate

1. In a medium sized bowl combine the flour and icing sugar, work in the butter with your fingertips. Do this until the mixture resembles rough bread crumbs. Add the water bit by bit and use a fork to bring the dough together. If using a food processor, whizz until just combined and add just enough water to form dough.

2. Shape the dough into a circle then flatten and wrap in cling film. Rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

3. Heat oven to 180°c and grease a muffin tray with spray oil or butter. 

4. Remove dough from fridge and discard cling film. Cover bench surface and rolling pin with a little flour, roll the dough out until it is 3-4mm thick. Cut shapes using cookie/scone cutters and press into base of muffin trays. Fill with fruit mince and top with another star shaped piece of pastry. Brush tops of pies lightly with beaten egg or milk. 

5. Place into the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and pastry has risen.

6. Leave to cool and dust with icing sugar when ready to serve. Store in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

• Mince tarts freeze well – just wrap in baking paper and place into a resealable bag. Remove from freezer to defrost a few hours before needed.
• Serve warmed with cream, yoghurt and even a dollop of brandy butter! 

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