Okay so it is now after Ellie’s birthday and I can bring myself to talk about Christmas, and one of my traditions. Christmas is all about traditions and over the years ours have evolved as a family. The one that gives me the most pleasure in the run up to the main even though is baking that first batch of mince pies.
There is nothing like making your own mincemeat and then baking that first pie. The smell that comes from the kitchen instantly makes me feel Christmassy and everybody at home loves them so they don’t hang around for long. Which means I have to bake a second batch, and a third.
This year I have already done the first lot and I had a little reindeer helper, sent to me by the lovely people at Dobbies Garden centre. They have asked me to share which of the Christmas traditions they have on their website I feel is most “me”. And, well, we all know it is not going to be the crafty one
Or the one that involves Carol singing, you will be pleased to hear.
Nope, being inspired by the Bake Off is definitely my style. And as it is me you know the recipe is simple.
- 250g seedless raisins
- 250g sultanas
- 250g currants
- 65g mixed peel
- 250g cooking apples, peeled and finely chopped
- 125g butter, softened
- grated zest of ½ a lemon
- grated zest of ½ an orange
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg
- pinch of allspice
- 250g dark brown soft sugar
- 250ml brandy or dark rum
- Finely chop all dried fruits to the same size.
- Dump in a bowl and mix all the fruit, apples, butter, zest and spices together till well combined. Dissolve the sugar in the brandy and pour it over the above mix.
- Cover and leave it for 24 hours
- Stir the mixture again then place in dry jam jars and leave for a month
- Use in your favourite recipe
Then I put the above mincemeat into some filo pastry that I have cut up and layered in a muffin tin, four bits of pastry is enough and it makes a bit of a change from really heavy shortcrust pastry I think.
Though they can be a bit crumbly. And messy.
But isn’t that part of the fun?
How about you, do you have any traditions for Christmas?
I would love to hear them!
Thanks Dobbies for sending me this gorgeous plush reindeer