Tag Archives: #homemade

Good morning my little SAUSAGE & EGG McMUFFIN… I’m going to EAT YOU!

1 Dec

20131117-121150.jpgSo… most of my mornings start with ‘morning, what would you like for breakfast… lunch… dinner’.  My whole day revolves around my meal times and I love to plan my meals – not only does this help me save a little money but it prepares me for my day ahead.

My normal weekend breakfasts generally HAVE to include an egg somewhere.  I love eggs… mainly scrambled, with lurpack butter on top of  an English Muffin – and for those that know me well they will know that this is my standard Saturday/Sunday morning treat.

When asking this question a couple of weeks ago the response was a SAUSAGE & EGG McMUFFIN.  To be honest I was a little horrified this a) meant I would have to get up, get dressed, get in the car and head to a fast food restaurant, b) eat breakfast from a fast food restaurant and c) i’ve never had a sausage and egg mcmuffin and I wasn’t sure it was really what I desired for my breakfast treat.

This is where ‘comprimise’ is required and after a little discussion and working out what was in the cupboard (or what extra was required from the local store), it was agreed that it would be MUCH tastier to try and make our own, and so we embarked on creating our very own, up market, homemade, delicious SAUSAGE & EGG McMUFFINS.  They were unbeilveably tasty, the best breakfast I have had in a very long time. WOW.  So… here is how to make them yourself.

PREPARATION TIME: 15 minutes

COOKING TIME: 15 minutes

MAKES: 4 McMuffins

INGREDIENTS for the sausage burgers…

  • 8 linconshire sausages
  • Plain flour

INGREDIENTS for the potato rosti’s….

  • 1 large potato
  • 1 egg
  • 2 heaped tablespoons of plain flour
  • salt
  • black pepper

INGREDIENTS for the poached eggs…

  • 1 pan full of boiled water
  • 2 tablespoons of vinegar
  • 4 eggs

INGREDIENTS for the muffins..

  • 4 English Muffins
  • Lurpack Butter
  • 4 slices of burger cheese

HOW TO MAKE THE AMAZING McMUFFINS

The first thing that you need to do is to make the potato rosti’s as these take the longest to cook.  I was told that a Sausage & Egg McMuffin should always be purchased with a hashbrown, but we didn’t have any hashbrowns and I really wanted to make everything, so I decided on potato rosti’s.  They did not disappoint.

Peel the potato and discard of the skins.  The grate all the potato on the largest grater, place all of this in bowl and then you need to squeeze out the liquid before you can start adding all your other ingredients.  So take a handful of the grated potato and over another bowl squeeze this together quite hard using your hands, lots of liquid will come out of the potato.  When you cannot get anymore liquid out place this to one side and continue until you have done this to all of the potato and then throw away the liquid.  If there is too much liquid in the potato then they will just be a soggy mash potato, not a rosti!

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Stage 1 – grate all the potato, without the skins.

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Stage 2 – squeeze out all of the liquid from the grated potato and then throw this away.

Now you can add the egg, the flour, salt and pepper to the potato and mix all of this together…

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Stage 3 – add the flour, egg, salt and pepper and then mix well until all combined.

Place a frying pan on a low heat and add a little olive oil to the pan.  Heat until smoking slightly.  Now it is time to get MESSY!  So, using your hands take a handful of the rosti mixture and roll into a bowl.  Place into the frying pan and then repeat until you have 4 rosti’s in the pan.  Using a spatula flatten the rosti’s so you have 4 rounds that will fit into your mcmuffins.  They should look a little like this…

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Stage 4 – The rosti’s rounds cooking, flatten them gently using a spatula.

The rosti’s will need to be turned over every minute or so that they don’t burn.  Once they are golden brown, they can be transferred to an oven tray and place on 200 degrees, for about 15 minutes, so that the potato cooks through.  When they are cooked they should look a little like this…

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FINALLY – the rosti’s are cooked and ready to be placed in the mcmuffin tower.

Now we need to make the sausage burgers.  This is really easy to do.  Take the linconshire sausages, taken them out of their skins and then roll together 2 of the sausages (without skins) into a pattie shape.  Use flour on your hands and on the sausage meat to stop them sticking to you and making a big mess!  We didn’t do this at first and could NOT get the sausage meet off our hands.  Again, heat a little oil in a frying pan and add the sausage burgers to the pan and cook until golden…

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Sausages, flour for your hands and scisors to remove the sausage skins.

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Keep turning every few minutes until the burgers are golden brown.

There are now only a few things left to do, one of the most important though is to poach the eggs.  So take a large pan, add boiled water and then keep on a low heat.  To this add 2 tablespoons of vinegar and then leave to boil/bubble – but only a little.  Break an egg into a cup and then holding this in one hand, create a ‘vortex’ in the water with a spoon and into the middle of this gently place the egg.  The cup will allow you to get the egg close to the water and drop it in all at once without it going in in little bits!  The swirling water will bring all the egg together and create the perfect poached egg.

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My perfect poached egg…

Take this out of the water using a slotted spoon and then place to one side – on a plate and then cook the other poached egg.  A few minutes before serving place all the eggs in the water to heat through.

Last, but certainly not least, you need to prepare the muffins, so take slice them in half, toast them lightly, spead a layer of Lurpack butter onto them and then place the cheese on, so that this melts…

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Toasted muffins with butter and cheese on… yum!

Now you can build your SAUSAGE & EGG McMUFFIN and then it is time to eat!  Here we go… rosti on top of the cheese, followed by the burger, followed by the poached egg and then top with the muffin lid!  NOW IT IS TIME TO EAT the McMuffin.. ENJOY!!  (I tell you it is well worth the preparation time and the cooking time and it is a total treat!)

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BREAKFAST is served!!

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How amazing does this look when it is sliced through!? WOW!

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ALL GONE!

 

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YORKSHIRE PUDDINGS… a Sunday Roast is not a Sunday Roast without them. Aunt Bessie eat your heart out!

14 Jul

20130628-073606.jpgAs per the title of this post, a Sunday Roast is not a Sunday Roast without YORKSHIRE PUDDINGS… and many of them.  Don’t get me wrong, I do love going out for a Sunday Lunch, however I only ever get ONE Yorkshire Pudding and I find that very very upsetting.

When I was a little girl Yorkshire Puddings were the thing we always argued every Sunday… and that was not just me and my little sister.  That was my Mum and Dad too!  My mum would make a ‘batch’ of yorkshire puddings.  Sometimes this would be 12 and as we got older it would be 16.  Then when Mark joined our family (my wee sisters other half) we started making 20.  So… ‘3 each’ or ‘4 each’ was the rule shouted as they were brought into the dining room.  During the meal we would ask each other ‘how many have you had?’ and we would systematically go around the table.  Sometimes LIES were told.  This would cause chaos… especially if you had simply and innocently forgotten how many you had (cough cough).

So… we grew up with Mum making Yorkshire Puddings every Sunday and therefore my sister and I are adept at making Yorkshire’s.  I therefore find it very ODD that people are shocked and amazed when I whip up a batch and don’t rely on Aunt Bessie’s fake, thin and skimpy puddings.  OH NO.  If I did that Mum would disown me, and rightly so.

In fact neither my sister nor I use a recipe, so this is going to be quite hard for me to write!  But here we go…

PREPARATION TIME: 10 minutes

COOKING TIME: 15 minutes

MAKES: 12 Yorkshire Puddings

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 heaped tablespoons of plain flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • Milk (enough to make a smooth batter)
  • Vegetable oil / lard /butter

HOW TO MAKE THE PUDDINGS…

First things first and possibly the MOST important stage.  Get out the Yorkshire Pudding tin… which is the one that is smaller than a muffin tin and is used to bake buns not cupcakes.  (I hope this makes sense!)  To each well in the Yorkshire Pudding tin add 1/2 a teaspoon of oil/butter/lard.  I prefer to use vegetable oil as I don’t think it adds a taste to the puddings.  Now place this in a hot oven – so heat the oven to 200 degrees (gas mark 5) and then place in the tray with the oil.  You want to leave this to ensure that the oil is very hot, which should take about 10 minutes.  Whilst this heats up, lets make the batter…

In a medium sized bowl (or if you are like me I find it easier to use a measuring jug, as it will allow me to pour the mixture out neatly) place the 4 heaped tablespoons of plain flour in and add to that the pinch of salt (but only a pinch).

Mix together the salt and flour and then make a well in the centre – a hole!  (I say this to the children I work with and they look at me like I am crazy!!)  It simply means make a space in the centre.  Into here add the egg (obviously crack it open!) and then add a good glug of milk.  If you want some help here, about 6 tablespoons of milk – but it doesn’t matter if its slightly more or less at this stage.

Now, using a fork start whisking the egg and milk (only) in the centre.  Keep going and you will notice that gradually the flour starts to stick and come into the mix, keep going and going until a lot of the flour has come into the milk/egg now you should be starting to get a think paste… don’t let it get too thick as so far you will have avoided lumps.

Add a dash of milk and continue to mix.  Add another dash of milk and repeat.  You can now bring in the rest of the flour by mixing around the sides of the bowl and add another dash of milk.

The batter for Yorkshire Puddings and pancakes is the same, the only difference is the thickness.  For pancakes you want a very thin consistency, for puddings you want a thick batter.  So in between the consistency of houmous and pancake batter.  (Hummm this is hard to explain).  So keep adding milk until you get the batter to this consistency and whisk well to ensure there are no lumps.

Now your oil should be hot, so take the tin out of the oven (using a glove) and begin pouring in the batter.  You want to fill each well up until it is approx. two thirds full – this will allow room for rising.  You also need to act very quickly as you need the oil to be hot as the batter hits it.  So, fill each well and then get them puddings straight into the oven.

Leave for 15 minutes and DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN.  If you do they could drop and then you won’t get the impressive rise.  After 15 minutes open the oven and have a peak.  If they are golden they are ready.  I like mine a little doughy/heavy so I take them out after 15 minutes.  If you like them lighter in weight and darker in colour then leave them for another 5 minutes.

Add them to your roast dinner after declaring ‘2 each’ or ‘3 each’ and enjoy!  Any leftover batter (if you are cooking for one or two) could be used as pancakes… you just need to add more milk.  ENJOY and please… don’t fight.

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My finished YORKSHIRE PUDDINGS… GOBBLE GOBBLE!

IT’S MY BIRTHDAY… and I got given this beautiful, delicious cake… I LOVE JAM SPONGE CAKE.

31 May

Birthday CakeThis was the birthday cake I got given on Friday 10th May, ready for my birthday and party on Saturday 11th May.  I literally could not believe my eyes.  It was completely and utterly wonderful, not only because of the fabulous decoration and the lovely personalisation but the cake itself tasted delicious, moist, spongy and overall stunning.  I was one VERY happy lady, VERY spoilt lady.  My favourite things, flowers (specifically Gerbera’s) and cake.  EPIC.

The cake may have been a ‘simple sponge cake’ but that was a huge understatement.  Everyone thinks they can make a Victoria sponge cake and they can… it’s easy, but getting a ‘simple sponge’ to be indulgent and worthy of a birthday cake isn’t an easy task. It takes a while to perfect the basic recipe and the baking technique, but once you have got it – as Leanne Camilleri certainly has, you will be away.

Have you ever had a birthday cake from the supermarket… has it felt ‘fluffy’ in your mouth?  I have, and it did.  It also left a strange taste in my mouth and did not leave me wanting more.  Basically, the cake is made from non-fresh ingredients, so keep manufacturing costs low and to increase the profit margin.  So your lovely birthday cake will contain a range of dried milk, pasteurised eggs, syrup and raising agents – which does NOT say HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME.

Here is an ingredient list of a standard sponge ‘birthday cake’ from one of the leading retailers…

Sugar , Wheat Flour , Pasteurised Egg , Vegetable Oil , Buttercream (9.6%) [Unsalted Butter, Sugar, Glucose Syrup, Flavouring] , Raspberry Jam (8.4%) [Glucose-Fructose Syrup, Raspberries, Water, Gelling Agent (Pectin), Acidity Regulator (Citric Acid), Flavouring] , Glucose Syrup , Dextrose , Water , Emulsifier (Mono and Diglycerides of Fatty Acids) , Wheat Starch , Raising Agents (Diphosphates, Sodium Carbonates) , Maize Starch , Salt , Stabilisers (Xanthan Gum, Tragacanth) , Preservative (Potassium Sorbate) , Humectant (Glycerol) , Acidity Regulator (Citric Acid) , Colours (Anthocyanins, Carotenes, Titanium Dioxide, Lutein) , Vegetable Concentrates (Algae, Safflower, Beetroot) , Dried Egg White.

My lovely cake from Leanne Camilleri did not contain any of these unnecessary dried/pasteurised ingredients, it was very obviously made from fresh ingredients and this was obvious from the very first bite.  So I am going to provide you with a very lovely, very simple sponge cake recipe so that you to can make all your own sponge cakes from now on.  DO NOT BUY FROM THE SUPERMARKET, it’s easier, tastier and cheaper to make it yourself.

MY BIRTHDAY CAKE (a few images for you here!)

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With candles and complete with all my friends singing away!

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… it’s time to make a wish!

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Time to cut the cake. Believe me I felt very guilty about this!

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The first slice is out…

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… and wow 4 layer! NOW TO EAT.

Leanne Camilleri makes cakes like this as a hobby, so if you would like a cake similar to mine, or maybe something more specific, do let me know and hopefully I can put you in touch with Leanne who can make you one of these wonderful, incredible, tasty, beautiful cakes.  I cannot thank her and my lovely friend for the generous thought enough.  You truly made my birthday.

*MEATBALLS* … inspired by MASTERCHEF, made by ME. Simples.

21 Apr

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I have been away for a little while, doing ‘life admin’, which I agree is absolutely no fun at all, but it has to be done.  I have however continued to bake/cook at every opportunity and have made a range of things which I will share with you over the next few weeks.  Whilst I have been away I have however been watching one of my favourite TV shows… Masterchef.

Masterchef has been back on our TV screens (hoorah!) and I have been avidly watching the new series – is it me or has there been a few dodgy hopefuls?  It left me thinking ‘surely I am better than those people, who don’t even know the difference between pork and lamb?‘… Hummm.  Not too impressed, I must say!

Anyway, I often watch Masterchef and think ‘I would love to make that, if only I could afford XXX ingredients’.  I never can and always think it’s a little unobtainable for me, though I do enjoy viewing the show.  However, this week all was different.  John Torode made meatballs… what!?  Simple, easy and something I liked and could easily get all the ingredients for.  I was inspired.

So, here is what I did and how I did it.  John – they may not be as good as yours, but God loves a trier!

PREPARATION TIME: 15 minutes

COOKING TIME: 15 minutes

MAKES: 40 meatballs (serve 4 per person)

COST:  The meatballs will cost approx. 80p per portion to make and the sauce and pasta will add another 68p to this.  Overall the dish will cost £1.48.

INGREDIENTS:

For the meatballs…

  • 400g pork mince (£3.50)
  • 400g lean beef mince (£4)
  • 1 onion (33p)
  • 2 English breakfast muffins (50p)
  • 6 tsp sage (50p)
  • Black pepper (to taste)

For the pasta & sauce… (serves 4 people)

  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes (89p)
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree (20p)
  • 1 tbsp heinz tomato ketchup (20p)
  • 1 onion (33p)
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce (5p)
  • 1 tsp black pepper (5p)
  • 240g wholemeal pasta (£1)

HOW TO MAKE THE DISH…

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Grate the English muffins, to make breadcrumbs.

Some people don’t use breadcrumbs and they make this dish with 100% meat, but I like the texture the breadcrumbs give the meatballs and so does John, so here we go!  If you have a blender then great, you can use this to make the breadcrumbs, so just break the English muffins up into small pieces but into the blender.  If you don’t have a blender (like me) you can use a cheese grater to get the same result… honestly!  (I prefer it to using a blender actually as I hate cleaning the blender!)  So, once you have your breadcrumbs place these to one side.

Finely dice the onion and then (using a tiny bit of olive oil) cook these until they are soft and golden.  Do not let them catch and burn, as this will make the meatballs taste burnt too.  Once the onions are soft add the sage and continue to cook, this will release the flavour from the sage.

Next add the breadcrumbs, to the onions and the sage.  I was also quite surprise when I watched John Torode do this, but as he explained, if you don’t do this (in effect toast the breadcrumbs) then they will give the meatballs an ‘uncooked’ texture i.e. soggy!  So cook the onions, sage and breadcrumbs until they everything is golden.  This will only take about 5 minutes. Again, be careful not to let them burn and keep stirring them in the pan.

Place the pork mince and the beef mince in a large bowl and break up a little.  To this add the onions, sage and breadcrumbs mixture (I added this straight away, if you want to let it cool a little this is fine too, its probably best unless you have asbestos hands!).  Add some black pepper to this too, this will just bring out the flavours.  Add as much as you like… some people don’t like pepper and I do believe that it is an acquired taste. Then mix together well until everything comes together and is evenly distributed.  Interestingly, if you just use pork mince for this recipe then the meatballs will be very dry.  Using the beef with the pork keeps the mixture moist and brings out the ‘meaty’ flavour.  I do agree though, it is a little odd having pork and beef in the same recipe… but hey ho, it tastes great!

The meatballs mixture is now ready to roll (so to speak).  So, you can roll them into small balls.  I like to have smaller meatballs so that they get fully coated in sauce, so make lots of smaller meatballs or fewer larger ones.  This bit is for you to decide!  You could even make mini-meatballs, so that they are about 1cm each… this is what I will be doing next time… just to mix things up a little.

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My meatballs… rolled and ready to be cooked and eaten!

Now it is time to cook the meatballs.  In a large pan (or frying pan) heat a little olive oil and then once this is smoking a little (not spitting) drop about 8 meatballs in (2 portions) and cook these for about 3 minutes, constantly moving them around so that they do not stick and are evenly cooked.  Once they are golden all over remove them from the pan and place to one side.  Repeat this with all the meatballs you want/require.

Now it is time to make the pasta and the sauce.  Make the tomato sauce first, so that this can reduce whilst you cook the pasta.  Dice the onion and then fry this in a little tiny bit of olive oil until it is golden.  To this add a tin of chopped tomatoes, the tomato puree and the tomato ketchup.  I know that this is a little bit of a cheat, but if you don’t use this, you will need to add a little bit of sugar so it’s just the same but more tomato-y.  (This is one of my friends little cheats and it works a treat!)  To this you can add the Worcestershire sauce and a little black pepper and then you sealed meatballs, leave this to reduce and also to allow the meatballs to cook through and take on the tomato sauce flavour.  Whilst this cooks we can make the pasta.

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The sauce with the sealed (not cooked) meatballs, happily reducing whilst my pasta cooks.

So, boil some water and pour into a pan.  The standard portion size is about 60g of raw pasta per person, so measure this out and then place into the boiling water.  Unless you have quick cook pasta, this will take about 10 – 12 minutes to cook… just the right amount of time for your sauce to come together and thicken.

Once everything is cooked… the sauce has reduced, the pasta is cooked and drained; place the pasta in with the meatballs and sauce and mix well.  Serve and ensure that everyone gets the same number of meatballs!  Its really important to ensure everything gets mixed together as otherwise you end up with dry pasta… and this is just not what the Italians would do.  So ensure all the pasta gets coated with the sauce before you serve.  Sprinkle with some parmesan (if you like, I do) and enjoy with a glass of red wine!  DELICIOUS.

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The final dish, with everything coated in the sauce served! DONE!

 

It’s Mince Pie time… Pastry making skills at the ready?

15 Dec

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It’s Mince Pie time!  There has been a little time now since my last post ‘Seasons greetings with my Mince Pie filling…‘ so you should have a delicious mincemeat ready to fill the mince pie pastry here today.  If you haven’t made mincemeat and would rather not use a shop bought version packed with preservatives and filled with fat (suet) then find my blog and have a go!  It’s quick, easy and totally delicious.

So it’s now pastry time and I can feel your fear from here.  How can I reassure you?  Well as I have said before, it’s all about having a go, so follow my tips and my recipe and you won’t go wrong.  I promise.

The most important thing to remember is you need cool hands, cold water and butter at room temperature.  If you don’t have cool hands you can cool them down in cold water for a few minutes before getting started.  So… turn the cold taps on and get your hands under right up to your wrists (you need to cool your blood so your wrists are the best place to cool).  Grab a jug of cold water and add some ice cubes, and make sure the butter has been out of the fridge for 30 minutes – or so.

Let’s get baking!

Ingredients

  • 100g plain white flour
  • 100g wholemeal flour (to make them a little healthier)
  • 80g butter (at room temperature)
  • 40g brown sugar
  • Zest 1 orange
  • Juice 2 oranges (add 2 ice cubes) / iced water to bind (approx 50ml)
  • 1 tsp mixed spices
  • Milk to brush

Method

First we need to make the pastry and if you can master this you can make shortcrust pastry for pies etc. and won’t need to buy it.  This will impress everyone who comes to dinner.  So, without further ado… Sift the flours into the bowl and then chop the (room temperature) butter into cubes and add to the bowl.  Now you need to make breadcrumbs so… pick up the butter and the flour (with your cold hands) and using your thumbs, rub the mixture across your fingers.  It’s a tricky process to describe!  Continue this until you have lots of fine breadcrumbs.

Now you can add the flavour to your basic pastry mix.  Add the sugar, orange zest and mixed spices to the breadcrumbs and mix well.  We are making a tasty, sweet pastry – hence the sugar, but if you wanted plain pastry you would omit these extra ingredients and just add some water now.  Mix together well.

Next is the liquid.  You will need to add the liquid you have chosen – either orange juice or water – a little at a time.  If you add it all at once it could be much to soft and you will not be able to make pastry.  So, add a tiny bit of liquid and mix with a cold, metal spoon.  Add more liquid and repeat the mixing.  Continue this until the breadcrumb mix is just combining to a lumpier consistency and then stop.  Take the pastry out of the bowl, and to bring it all together into one large ball.  Wrap it in clingfilm and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.  It needs a rest and so do you (for doing so well of course!), so you can have a cup of tea while you wait and then you can grease the muffin/bun tin with a little butter.

Resting time done? Baking trays greased?  Excellent – it’s time to roll out.

Flour your work surface with plain flour and then pop the pastry onto the floured area.  Sprinkle a little flour over the top of the dough and flour the rolling pin.  Roll out the pastry.

Now I personally think its best to roll the pastry back and forth 3 times then loosen the pastry with your fingers, turn it 90 degrees on the work surface and roll 3 times, loosen, turn 90 degrees etc.  This allows me to make sure the pastry isn’t sticking and to make a square that fits on my work surface.  Not a huge oblong!

Keep following my rolling process until the pastry is about 3mm thick (no more or you will only taste pastry).  Use a large scone cutter to cut out the bases and a smaller one for the lids.  Drop the large base over the top of the muffin tray/bun tray but DO NOT PUSH IT DOWN.  If you do this they will stick and you will not be able to get them out.  You will cry.  I know from experience!

Once all the bases are in, put in 1 tsp (only) of filling.  this can bubble out if you put too much in, so in this case less is more.  Using a pastry brush, brush milk around the edge of the little pie and sit the lid on top.  Push the edges together gently and then milk the tops.

Before I bake them I like to use a little knife to make a slit in the lid of the pie.  This allows steam out and also makes them look authentic!

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden.  Using a knife carefully lift the pies out onto a cooling rack (if you don’t do this they will get soggy bottoms).  Sprinkle caster sugar over the top and VOILA!  You have made perfect mince pies.

ENJOY & most of all a Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!

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Ps.  After my post last week I badly cut my middle finger on my left hand.  So apologies if this recipe isn’t as detailed as normal and there are typo’s.  I am typing very slowly and inaccurately with one hand… ouch!

Seasons Greetings with my Delicious Mince Pie Filling…

12 Dec

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This week I have been making copious amounts of this fabulous mincemeat!  Why!?  I hear you ask.  Well… I work as a Nutritionist in the community teaching others in the world how to cook, create healthy delicious foods and I really want to inspire others at home to have a go – plus its the CHRISTMAS SEASON.

Baking is really not as complicated as people think and my belief is – its important to have a go.  As in all walk of life, you learn from your mistakes and believe me I have/have had many and will have many more.

So without further ado, here is my first blog about these gorgeous mince pies!

Making the Mincemeat

This really is THE most important part of the mince pie and if this is not absolutely delicious no one will like your mince pies.  (Getting straight to the point!)  I have manged to convert 6 mince pie haters in the last week with this simple recipe so here goes…

Ingredients

  • 20 pitted dates (the fresher the better – the hard ones need soaking overnight)
  • 250g golden sultanas / turkish sultanas – these are they key!
  • 250g currants – without stones
  • 100g raisins – without stones
  • 100g apricots – finely diced
  • 3 oranges – zest of 2 and juice of 3
  • 2 large cooking apples – peeled and grated
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg

Optional – you could try substituting the 100g raisins/sultanas for dried cranberries if you would like!  Be experimental!

Method

Follow the ingredients list above to ensure that all your ingredients are prepared as listed.  Then its simply a case of combining everything into a large pan.  This must be heated on the hob at a gentle simmer (do not allow to boil), with regular stirring; so that all the ingredients combine together and make a thick mincemeat.

If the mixture is not regularly stirred you will find that some of the mixture could stick to the pan and burn, so do not allow this to happen.

Benefits of making your own

  • Any extra can be stored and put into jars for Christmas presents
  • Everyone will be surprised/amazed that you made your own mincemeat
  • There is very little added sugar (its mostly just sugar from fruits)
  • There are no added preservatives – so you can be sure you are not eating anything that isn’t natural
  • Its is completely delicious and you will be able to convert mince pie haters to lovers which will make you feel fabulous!

I really hope you enjoy making this recipe.  I will soon be adding my pastry recipe, so that you can make the entire mince pie.  Let me know how you get along with this recipe and do send me your images, thoughts and any alterations/additions you make! ENJOY!

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