LUSCIOUS FRUITY MINCEMEAT

 

LUSCIOUS FRUITY MINCEMEAT

This is the smell of Christmas for me, delicious, fruity mincemeat full of plump fruit, zesty orange, apple, nuts & spices. Homemade really is the best there I’ve said it. I’m having none of the pasty, oversweet, sticky ones and if I am going to all the trouble of making my own mince pies it would be a crying shame not to use a good mincemeat. This ‘recipe’ is hardly a recipe just a list (albeit longish) of ingredients that you put together and give a quick stir. If you can bear to give it away small jars make lovely presents. Give it a go please.

Homemade Fruity Mincemeat

 

 

 

LUSCIOUS FRUITY MINCEMEAT Makes 450g (1lb)

100g dried apricots, snipped in half with scissors

50g walnuts (or almonds)

50g seedless raisins

1 medium eating apple, peeled, cored and cut up roughly

50g sultanas

1 tbsp. mixed candied peel

1 heaped tbsp. grated suet (vegetarian if you prefer)

50g currants

Zest of 1 small orange and juice

2 tbsp. unrefined caster sugar

1 tbsp. golden syrup

½ teaspoon mixed spice/½ teaspoon cinnamon

A good grating of nutmeg

2 tablespoons brandy/whisky

 

  1. The ingredients can be chopped by hand but it is much easier to use a food processor.
  2. First of all process the snipped apricots and then tip them into a large mixing bowl. Then process the nuts and add to the bowl. Do not over process these as they give the mincemeat some texture.
  3. Now process  the raisins, apple, sultanas and suet together.
  4. Add them to the bowl and then add the currants (which can be left whole), the orange juice, zest, sugar, syrup, spices and brandy.
  5. Mix together and pot up. Makes 24 pies.

CHRISTMAS ICE CREAM PUDDING

Christmas Ice cream Pudding
Christmas Ice cream Pudding

Let’s be honest a traditional Christmas pudding is not every one’s cup of tea and…………………….you are a tad late if you want to make one so here is a spectacular alternative. It is every bit as special (some would say more), much lighter and filled with brandy soaked fruit, juicy cranberries and ginger biscuits. In bid to show off (tick) I have decorated mine with shards of white chocolate, crystallised berries and a fair bit of edible sparkle. It looks gorgeous and there will definitely be a Tah ..da..moment when you carry it to the Christmas table.

Don’t be tempted to …….flame this pud…you have been warned..

LUSCIOUS CHRISTMAS  ICE CREAM  PUDDING WITH SPARKLY WHITE CHOCOLATE SHARDS AND CRANBERRIES

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CHRISTMAS ROCKY ROAD

Christmas Rocky Road
Christmas Rocky Road

Here is a Christmas treat, easy for children to make (with supervision) and a lovely present for them to give (if you can wrest it out of their hands). Best to make two lots I think. Don’t deviate from the recipe-it has to be Rich Tea biscuits and mini marshmallows, good butter and good chocolate…simple and delicious for everybody.

CHRISTMAS ROCKY ROAD Continue reading “CHRISTMAS ROCKY ROAD”

ZABAGLIONE TRIFLE SLICE FOR CHRISTMAS

Zabaglione Trifle slice

It is all very well Nigella swanning around her Christmas kitchen looking gorgeous and sparkly and I do dream that this could be me….one year but to be honest it rarely (I’ve had my moments….) works out this way.

I love to make delicious food for all my family and friends and not spend all my time in the kitchen (who wants to anyway?). There is only one solution -PLANNING and help from the best Christmas helper of all -THE FREEZER.

Squirrel away some lovely dishes now for Christmas and then you really can put on your sparkly dress, have a glass of champagne, relax and enjoy some delicious meals. I am starting off (as I mean to go on) with a favourite pud-Zabaglione Trifle slice. A trifle is a Christmas must have and this one is based on the Italian zabaglione pudding. It is easy to make and freeze and makes a great alternative to Christmas pudding for those that don’t care for it. Have a go, pop this in your freezer and relax-that’s one ticked off the list-spend the extra time shopping for something sparkly to wear.

ZABAGLIONE TRIFLE CAKE

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CHICKEN LIVER PATÉ

 

Delicious Christmas PatéNow Christmas is snapping at my heels and there is a vague feeling of panic about all the cooking, buying, wrapping, celebrating etc that has to be done in the next few weeks…my top tip for this week is make a PLAN. I love having visitors to stay over, and I have quite a few, but don’t want to spend all my time in the kitchen. I love the idea of floating around with  glass in hand eating beautiful delicious nibbles and cocktails or sitting by the log fire and enjoying time my friends and family. I love beautiful decorations too that make everyone’s stay feel special. I do manage some of this even though I say it myself! How do you do this? Well it’s all about planning the food well in advance and now is the time to get a wriggle on and make some lovely festive dishes that will sit very happily in your freezer waiting to be whipped out at the last minute.

Christmas day isn’t really the problem it’s the days before and the days after that complicate things especially if you have friends and family, like mine, that need to stay over for a few days – I make a sketchy plan for all the meals and even sketchier shopping lists. Ok, it’s a bit anal but if I do this then I can, truly, enjoy the holiday with out burning out on Christmas Eve and having a major melt down.

Here is an old favourite of mine that is already sitting in my freezer and will make an appearance on Christmas Eve so there is no last minute cooking and I can enjoy that glass of champagne!

CREAMY CHICKEN LIVER PATE

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