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(Makes Approx 24)
There’s nothing quite like freshly baked mince
pies at Christmas. Follow this recipe to bake
delicious mince pies that you can share out whenever
friends pop in for Christmas drinks.
12 oz (350g) of Plain Flour
3 oz (75g) of Margarine or Butter
3 oz (75g) of Lard
1 pinch of Salt
11/4 lb Jar of Mincemeat
Cold Water to Mix
For the Top
A little Milk
You will need 1 or 2 trays of 21/2 inch (6 cm)
party tins, 1 fluted 3 inch (7.5cm) pastry cutter
and 1 21/2 inch (6 cm) cutter
your oven to gas mark 6 200ºc)
Make up the pastry by sifting the flour
and salt into a mixing bowl and rubbing the fats
into it until it turns to fine crumbs. Then add
just enough cold water to mix to a dough that
leaves the bowl clean. Leave the pastry to rest
in a polythene bag in the fridge for approx 20-30
minutes. Then roll half of it out thinly and cut
into two dozen 3 inch (7.5 cm) rounds, gathering
up the scraps and re-rolling. Do the same with
the other half of the pastry this time using the
21/2 (6 cm) cutter.
Next, grease the pastry tins lightly and
line them with the larger rounds. Fill these with
mincemeat to the level of the edges of the pastry.
Dampen the edges of the smaller rounds of pastry
with water and press them lightly to form lids
sealing the edges. Brush each one with milk and
make three snips in the tops with some scissors.
Bake near the top of the oven for 25-30 minutes
until light golden brown. Cool them on a wire
tray and sprinkle with icing sugar. When cool,
store in an airtight tin.
(Serves Approx 8)
Try this recipe for delicious Parsnips, baked
crisp and golden brown in the oven with a Parmesan
2 1/2lb (1.2 kg) parsnips
6 oz (175g) plain flour
2 oz (50g) freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
A knob of butter
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
Preheat your oven to gas mark 6 (200ºC)
Firstly, combine the flour, Parmesan cheese,
salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Peel the parsnips
and cut into smallish chunks. Put the parsnips
in a saucepan, pour in enough boiling water
just to cover them and add a pinch of salt.
Bring to the boil and boil for 3 minutes. Get
a large kitchen tray ready and after draining
them, drop them into the flour and Parmesan
mixture to coat them evenly. Next, transfer
them on to the tray on to the tray. This needs
to be done while they are still steaming.
To bake, place enough groundnut oil to cover
the base of a large roasting tin and a knob
of butter for flavour. Preheat this in the oven
slightly so that the parsnips can be placed
in the hot fat. Bake them for 20 minutes, then
turn them over and drain off any surplus fat,
before baking for a further 15-20 minutes until
they are crisp and golden.
(Serves Approx 12)
Use the recipe below as a basic guideline, adjusting
the quantities of wine if you want it stronger
and adding more sugar or honey if you like it
2 x 75cl bottles of medium to full bodied red
2 ½ pints (1.5 litres) of water
1 orange stuck with cloves
2 oranges, sliced
2 lemons, sliced
6 tablespoons granulated sugar or honey
2 inch (5 cm) piece of Cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh root or ground
2 tablespoons fruit liqueur such as Cointreau
Grand Marnier or Cherry Brandy
all of the ingredients in a saucepan, then heat
to simmering point, stirring until all the sugar
has dissolved. Keep it barely at simmering point
for at least 20 minutes – but do not boil as
the alcohol will evaporate. This can be made
in advance, and then reheated just before the
party. Serve it warm in ½ pint mugs (for 12
servings) or in sturdy wine glasses (for 24
12 oz (350g) raisins
2 oz (50g) glace cherries
2 oz (50g) dried apricots
6 oz (175g) margarine
6 oz (175g) light brown sugar
3 eggs (beaten)
2 oz (50g) ground almonds
2 oz (50g) walnuts (chopped)
8 oz (225g) self raising flour
3 tablespoons sherry
Soak fruit in the sherry for 1 hour.
• Beat together the margarine and sugar then
add eggs a little at a time beating in between.
• Pour in the fruit mixture and sherry.
• Fold in the flour a little at a time.
• Stir in the nuts and stir until completely
• Turn out into a greased 8 inch cake tin that
has been lined with greaseproof paper or baking
• Bake in a pre-heated oven at 160ºC for
around 2 hours or until firm to the touch and
tested with a clean skewer.
• Allow the cake to cool for around ½ an hour
before turning out. Remove paper and allow to
fully cool on a wire rack.
• Ice when fully cool if required or serve plain
with hot custard as an alternative to Christmas
(Makes Approx 36)
These will make a special ending to any Christmas
feast served with liqueurs and coffee.
5 oz (150g) very best quality Plain Dessert
5 ft oz (150 ml) Thick Double Cream
1 ox (25g) Unsalted Butter
2 tablespoons or Rum or Brandy
1 tablespoon of Greek Yogurt
1 oz (25g) Flaked Almonds, very finely chopped
and well toasted
Some Paper Sweet Cases
the Chocolate into squares and place it in the
bowl of a food processor. Grind the chocolate
until it looks granular, like Sugar now place
the cream, butter and rum or brandy into a small
saucepan and bring to simmering point. Then,
with the blender switched on, pour the mixture
through the feeder tube of the processor and
continue to blend until you have a smooth mixture.
Now add the yoghurt and blend again for a few
seconds. Next transfer the mixture into a bowl,
leaves it to get quite cold, then cover with
Cling film and refrigerate overnight to thicken.
Next day, sprinkle the finely chopped toasted
almond flakes onto a flat plate and take half
a teaspoonful of truffle mixture and roll it
around in the nuts. Press them to form an outer
coating before transferring each one into a
paper case. Arrange all of the truffles in a
box and cover. Keep them refrigerated and eat
within 3 days.
Salmon Scrambled Eggs
Although this is one of the simplest dishes,
scrambled eggs with Smoked Salmon never fails
4 large Eggs
2 ox (110g) Smoked Salmon
4 tablespoons Milk
2 oz (50g) Butter
Salt and freshly milled Black Pepper
chop up the Smoked Salmon fairly small and put
it in a jug or mug. Pour the milk over it and
stir well so that the fish gets a good coating
of milk, then leave to soak for 20 minutes.
Then, melt half of the butter in a small heavy
based saucepan on low heat. Break the eggs into
a bowl, season them with salt and pepper and
beat them well.
When the butter is foaming, swirl it round the
sides of the pan and pour in the beaten eggs.
Stir constantly with a wooden spoon. As it starts
to solidify, add the Smoked Salmon pieces along
with the milk left in the mug or jug. Stir continuously,
when almost all of liquid has gone, remove from
the heat, add the rest of the butter and continue
stirring just off the heat of the pan. Serve
immediately on slices of brown bread and butter
or toast if you prefer.
| Cooks Tips –
this time of year it’s really nice to pay attention
to dressing your Christmas table.
Adding a table runner and candles is a really
effective way of easily transforming a table.
Put your chunkiest candles in long stemmed wine
glasses to add a touch of sophistication.
And if you are holding a buffet type meal, splash
out on some festive paper ware.