Tag Archives: christmas

Mince Pies

So here is what i made with my mincemeat filling from before. What a perfect traditional christmas treat. Especially served hot with brandy butter and a glass of baileys. Simply follow my mincemeat recipe, incase in any pastry type of your choice, glaze with a beaten egg, sprinkle with sugar and bake for 10-12 mins on 180C, eat warm or cold. Good for freezing and using when you want, or even leave a few out for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.

Seasonal cheer.

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Vintage Christmas Cake Recipes

Recently I bought an old recipe book off ebay for 50p, which I thought was a bargain. To my surprise inside someone had left their newspaper cut outs of Christmas Cake recipes. This included recipes on how make American frosting, almond paste, royal icing and rich fruit sponge. I wanted to share my find with you. I am unsure of the age of the second, but recipes both were published in the Daily Telegraph, and the first is from the 1940s, as on the back it talks about the premiere of Gone With The Wind in Leicester Square, London. The movie was released here in 1940 and ran for 4 years during The Blitz, bombing of London during WWII. This year we are having the christmas cake made as a present so i wont be trying the recipes out yet, but feel free to have a go and show me the results (^-^)

Overly indulgent, vintage delight.

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Cranberry Jam

In winter the most wonderful thing is Cranberries, rich in colour and flavour, bitter yet sweet perfect for desserts and savoury dishes. What I love is a brie sandwich with a generous spread of cranberry jam. This is a very simple recipe you can find in many different cookbooks.

What You Need:
300g Fresh Cranberries, 300g Caster Sugar

Simple simmer the ingredients in a pan until the sugar has dissolved, then turn up the heat and boil for around 5 minutes or until jam consistency (105c). Jar straight away into a recycled sterilised jar and seal.

For you or as a gift.

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Apple and Cranberry Mincemeat

There is nothing better around christmas time than a warm mince pie and a glass of mulled wine. So in preparation for christmas it’s always good to make your own mincemeat to fill the mince pies rather than shop bought. It always tastes better ad you now exactly wants gone into it, so you don’t have to eat anything nasty. For me mince pies remind me of christmas eve, sitting by the the tree and playing monopoly with my family.

What You Need:

90ml Brandy, 75g soft light brown sugar, 200g peeled and grated apple, 75g chopped walnuts, 170g dried cranberries, 2 and a half tsp of mixed spice, 75g raisins, 75g sultanas, Juice and zest of one lemon, Juice and zest of one mandarin, 1tsp Almond Essence, 1tsp vanilla extract.

(This recipe should make around 1 jar or 24 mince pies)

First take half of the brandy and the brown sugar and stir on a low heat until dissolved. Then add the grated apple and mix, letting the apple soak in the syrup. Then add in all of the dried fruit, walnuts, fruit juices, zest and mixed spice and stir. Set the mixture on a medium heat, press it firmly down with the back of the spatula and simmer for 30mins. After take off the heat and cool. Once cool add the rest of the brandy, almond and vanilla. Pot into a warm jar or set aside to make mince pies.

A simple Christmas treat.

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Mum’s Christmas Pudding

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Christmas Pudding for me makes christmas day. The rich fruit, the smell of sherry and the thick dollop of brandy butter on the side. So I would like to share with you my mum’s christmas pudding, this recipe is to keep one for yourself and to give one away as a present, a personal christmas touch. You can make this up to six weeks ahead of the day.

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What You Need:

200g Currants, 200g Sultanas, 200g Cherries, 100ml Pudding Sherry, 135ml Creme de Cassis, 133g Plain Flour, 165g Bread-crumbs, 200g of suet,  200g Light Brown Sugar, 1 and a quarter tsp ground cinnamon, quarter tsp ground gloves, 1 and a quarter tsp of baking powder, 4 eggs, 40ml honey, one orange, one lemon zest.

This recipe makes two, 2 litre puddings.

If you like, one week before soak the dried fruit in the sherry and creme de cassis.

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It’s pretty simple to prepare a christmas pudding, its the cooking which is difficult. Simply weigh out all the ingredients, chop the orange and cherries and mix all together until well blended. Then spoon evenly into buttered pudding bowls (2 litre).

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The cooking, prepare two steaming pans, half full with water. Cover the pudding bowls with buttered parchment paper cut to fit the bowls and to turn up at the sides. This is to stop water and condensation building up inside the pudding while it is cooking. Now place the bowls into the steamers and steam on a simmering heat for 5 hours.

There you have it, once done, cool turn out and wrap air-tightly ready for Christmas. On the day of cooking reheat in the steamer for 3 hours and the serve.

The second one is for my Aunt:

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In a Pickle : Christmas Preparation

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There is nothing better at christmas time than having a late supper of cold cut meats, a selection of cheeses and pickled onions and eggs! As I was in Korea last year I did miss out on the little delights of a classic british christmas so this year I will be getting my seasonal food treats. What better way right now is to prepare the onions and eggs for pickling, its nice and easy and taste so much better than shop bought.

Pickled Eggs: What You needs: A Jar (sterilised), Pickling vinegar (or cidar vingar), 12 eggs, 50g Fresh Ginger (peeled), 2tsp Dried Crushed Chillies,2 cinnamon sticks, 2tsp Black Peppercorns.

Firstly hard boil the eggs, peel and set aside to cool. While they are cooling add the vinegar and spices to a pan and bring to the boil, but as it starts to bubble turn off and set aside for 2 hours. Fill the jar with the hard boil eggs, sieve the vinegar mixture and pour over the eggs. Tightly screw on the jar lid. Best to set aside for 1 month for flavours to mix, you can store these for 6-8 months and are delicious with a salad, chunky chips or even a pint of beer.

Pickled Onions: What You Need: Pickling Onions (enough to fill the jar you are using), 1tsp Crushed Chillies, 1stp whole Cloves, 1tsp Whole Allspice, 1tsp Black Peppercorns, Garlic Clove, Salt.

First peel the onions and wash, place in a large bowl and cover with water (enought to cover the onions). Sprinke around 75g of salt over the onions, cover the bowl with a cloth and set around for 24 hours.

Next day prepare the vingaer mixture like the eggs, fill the jar with onions and pour over the vingar. Seal and store for up to 12 months.

A perfect christmas, and why not try the same with beetroot and red cabbage.

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Roast Pumpkin Chutney

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I had some left over roasted pumpkin from the soup so I decided to bubble it up and create a yummy pickle. This recipe is nice and simple. This batch makes around 5 medium jars. Also don’t forget to recycle and use old jars which you can sterilise in the oven.

What You Need:

3 Bramley Apples, 1 Large Red Onion, Cube of Fresh Ginger, 1/2 Roasted Pumpkin, 550ml of Malt Vinegar, 150ml of Water, 400g of Dark Brown Sugar, 1tbs Salt, 1tsp Canyanne Pepper, Squeeze of Lemon Juice, 1tsp English Mustard and pepper to season.

First chop onion, apples to the size you like, add to a large saucepan with everything else (except Pumpkin, Sugar and Salt). Boil up the mixture and simmer for 30mins.

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After 30mins stir in the sugar and salt until dissolved and simmer again for another hour, every so often stir the mixture. When the chutney is to the consistency you like (maybe simmer for 5 hours to reduce excess liquid) add the chopped roasted pumpkin and mix together, leave to cool then pot into warm jars and seal.

I recommend you leave it to mature for a month and then eat with cheese.. yum!

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