Dec 19, 2010

A Bit Of Baking

I love Christmas baking, and I am playing catch up, with only 6 days till Christmas and my daughter arriving tomorrow and her partner on Friday, there is near nothing done as far as holiday cooking is concerned. Usually by now there are a few tins of buttery, Scottish shortbread, while not traditional Choccie Chip cookies, sometimes German Speculass and/or Stollen, a legacy from my German mother.
Last night, I made up a batch of fruit mince for the tarts, while it has not been left to develop in taste over the last few months, it is equally as tasty used the next day. Tomorrow, I will make shortbread but today I made up the sweet, short pasty, I just can not bring myself to use store bought pastry, for these..
I always double the mixture, not only because we all like the pies, but the fruit mince is tasty mixed into ice cream. Half of the fruit mince makes a dozen pies.
Here they are, straight out of the oven, now I do not know why but there is always one mutant Christmas tart.. my husband always has this one, I wonder if he sabotages one..

Here is the recipe.. firstly make the fruit mince. 
1 cup finely chopped, peeled apple
3/4 cup blueberries ( I omitted these as they were far to expensive)
1/2 cup raisins-chopped
1/2 cup currants
1/2 cup sultanas
1/4 slivered almonds
1/4 cup castor sugar ( I use normal white sugar)
1/4 cup peel
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind,
1/2 teaspoon each of cinnamon,ground ginger & mixed spice
1/2 cup either brandy, port, rum or orange juice ( as I doubled this mix I used port and rum)
Put all this in a pot and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until soft and pulpy. Put into the fridge overnight.
1 cup standard flour
75grams butter, 
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of water
Mix butter with sugar and flour until it looks like breadcrumbs, add the egg yolk and water, Mix to a stiff dough and chill for about 20 to 30 minutes. This makes about 400grams of pastry.
I am sure most folk know how to make the tarts.. after putting pastry into the patty pans, add about 1 teaspoon of fruit mince, pop on the lid and bake at 180c for 15 minutes.


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