Well, It’s been a long time since I fired up the old blog. I haven’t gone away, but things have changed a little. Not least, WordPress have been messing about with the software, and the photos upload differently, so sorry if they look a little bit weird, until I can get used to the new way.
Anyway, since I posted last I had a bit of computer trouble, so I know that I may owe a few of you e-mails, and I have some catching up to do for Seedy Penpals.
I also have a little news, that is probably exciting for me, and not for many others, but I’m going to tell you anyway. After a lot of deliberation, I decided to take a role as the Campaign Manager for the Land of Promise Campaign to get better working conditions and the use of fewer pesticides in the pineapple industry in the Philippines, and three weeks ago I signed a contract with Fairfood International. I am excited because it is combining my skills of campaigning, and food, and I’m helping Fairfood plan and deliver a new campaigning strategy.
I have dived right in, with planning for the campaign, which has taken all of my head space, but now I have done the background reading, I am hoping to get back to blogging regularly. It does mean that I need to settle into a different posting pattern, but for the time being I have a bit of a backlog of posts to catch up with, which I’ll schedule in the coming days and weeks.
But that’s enough about me. I am with my family, and have just finished the preparations for tomorrow’s food. I have also managed to squeeze in some jam making. I haven’t had as much time this year as I normally would to make all the preserves ready for Christmas, so I haven’t made my own mincemeat. The mincemeat that I picked up on Saturday is at the more mediocre end of the spectrum, and I am not one to compromise on quality that much, so I thought that I would also share my tarted up mincemeat recipe.
And of course, I wanted to wish you all a very merry Christmas, Great Yuletide, and a Happy Winter Solstice, whichever you celebrate.
Recipe: Tarted Up Mincemeat
50 g dried fruit, I used a mix of cranberries, raisins and golden sultanas
Port to cover the fruit
1 jar mincemeat
Zest of a lemon
50 g of almonds and hazelnuts, chopped
Sweet shortcrust pastry I added lemon zest to this
Milk or egg wash
Soak the dried fruit in the port until the fruit is plump. This will take at least an hour. Stir in the mincemeat, and lemon zest, and allow to soak together with the fruit.
If you are making your own pastry, make it now using the method here. Wrap it up and let it rest in the fridge for about an hour.
Add the chopped nuts to the mincemeat just before rolling out your pastry. By using shop bought mincemeat, you are taking advantage of the pulped fruit (usually apple) and the spices. Normally mincemeat has to mature for at least a month before use, so this is a shortcut to tasty, fruity mincepies, without compromising on flavour.
Heat the oven to 160°C.
Roll out your pastry to about 3mm thick. Use two cutter sizes, one slightly larger for the base, cut an even number of bases and tops. Grease some tart tins. Cover with the bases, then press down gently with some dough offcuts.
Add a heaped tsp of the mincemeat to each base.
Brush the rim of one side of the top with milk or egg wash, cover the tart, wash side down, and either crimp or press gently with a shot glass to seal the pie.
Brush the pies with more milk or egg wash. Put in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until they are golden brown.
Serve them to your friends and guests and no-one will tell that you cheated a little bit.
3 responses to “Merry Christmas and Tarted Up Mince Pies”
We missed you! By the way, you can bypass the crazy new WordPress photo posting thingo by heading to your dashboard, clicking on “Media” then “Add New” and uploading all your photos there. After you finish loading them that way, just do your post as usual (I usually do mine in Word and copy and paste, that way if WordPress is being “funny” I don’t lose it all…) and then click “Add Media” and all of your uploaded photos are in that new funny gallery thingo ready to be used :). I HATE CHANGE WORDPRESS! 😉 Congratulations on your campaigning. We are all right behind you on fair working conditions for third world countries. We have an advertisment on television here in Australia about stopping child labour in third world countries and social media is making these appalling situations transparent to us all. Feel free to share your campaigning work with us all, its part of you that we enjoy reading about 🙂 Glad to see you back 🙂
Thanks Narf! Great tips 🙂
I hope you had a Happy Christmas, even though it is boxing day already for you now!
It sure is Boxing Day and we are enjoying a nice quiet one. I am off out into the garden to plan our enormous big fully enclosed vegetable garden for 2013 and Steve is out in his boat attempting to catch us some Boxing Day fish…all is great on Serendipity Farm and hopefully it’s wonderful where you are as well (although probably not quite so hot 😉 )