kith and kin

summer recipes: roasted beets, gluten free tart, and a seafood pasta

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Honey-Balsamic Roasted Beet's with Thyme

what you'll need

roasting pot or tray
small jar or jug to mix dressing

5 small beets
2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp of honey
plug of olive oil
salt & pepper
two sprigs of fresh thyme

what to do

first, preheat the oven to 400˚F/200˚C. then slice the beets into about 1/4 inch think pieces, place them in the roasting pot, and toss them in the olive oil. then salt and pepper them. 

second, in the small jar or jug, combine the vinegar and honey. cover the beets in your dressing them place them in the preheated oven. 

lastly, roast them until you can poke a fork in them with minimal resistance, about 20-30 minutes. I put them on whole wheat toast with humus and Parrano cheese, but they would also be good in a salad. Serves 4

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Lemon Tart with Summer Berries (GF/Refined-Sugar Free)

what you'll need

one 9 inch tart tin
one heat proof bowl
small pot or pan
whisk
food processor

for the crust (by cannellevanille.com)

3/4 cup (105g) superfine brown rice flour
1/3 cup (45g) amaranth flour
1/4 cup (30g) cornstarch
1 tablespoon natural cane sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoon cold unsalted butter; cut into cubes
1 egg yolk
5-7 tablespoons of ice water

for the filling & top

5 fl. ounces of freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 large eggs, at room temp.
1 large egg yolk, at room temp.
3/4 cup organic honey
pinch of salt
3/4 cup creme fraiche
1 small white peach
1 large handfull of raspberries & 1 of blackberries

for the fruit glaze

2 teaspoons gelatin
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar

what to do

first, preheat the oven to 400˚F/200˚C. in a food processor add all of the dry ingredients for the crust, and pulse a few times to mix. then add the cold butter in cubes, and pulse about 10 times until the butter is in fine pea sized crumbs. whisk the egg yolk with 5 tablespoons of ice water. add this to the dry ingredients and pulse a few time until it starts to come together in a ball. add the last two tablespoons of water if the mixture is too dry and isn't coming together. dump the dough onto a brown rice floured work surface and knead a few times until it comes together in a flat disk. wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for at least 1 hr. once chilled roll it out onto and floured work surface and line your tart tin. line it with baking paper and fill the bottom with baking weights. bake for about 20 mins, turning halfway through. then take it out and brush with a mixture of egg white and a splash of water. then put back in the oven without the pie weights for 10-15 more minutes, until just olden brown. 

second, in the heat proof bowl mix the lemon juice, honey, and salt. then fill your small pot with about 2 inches of water, no more, and put on to simmer. once the water is hot whisk in the eggs and egg yolk into the lemon juice mixture. then rest this bowl over the small pan over hot water, but make sure that the bowl isn't touching the water. continuously whisk this mixture, to prevent the eggs from scrambling, until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5-10 minutes depending on how hot your water is. let the curd cool to room temperature before folding in the creme fraiche. then spoon this mixture into the cooled tart shell, level it out, and place in the fridge for at least 1 hr to set. 

lastly, for the glaze, over low heat simmer the 1 cup water, and 1/2 sugar until the sugar dissolves. then sprinkle the gelatin over 1 tbsp of water to bloom. once bloomed, add to the sugar/water mixture, and bring to boil over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. then take off the heat, let stand for a minute just too cool slightly, then with a pastry brush, brush all the fruit with the glaze. place bake in the fridge to set again, 1 hr at least. then slice the tart up and enjoy! Serves 6-8 

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Pasta with Calamari, Garbanzo Beans, and Cilantro

This is one of my mom's favorite summer pasta recipes. She is frequently inspired by the Franny's cook book, and experiments with new and simple meat-free dishes for my recently self declared vegetarian sister, hence this dish.

what you'll need

one large sauté pan
one large pot for boiling pasta

for the pasta

1 lb - 1 1/2 lb fresh squid, both bodies and tentacles, cleaned, with the bodies chopped into about 1/2" rings
one medium red onion diced small
3-4 large garlic cloves mashed
a hefty cup of cherry or campari tomatoes or 2/3 ripe medium vine tomatoes diced
a hefty cup of organic garbanzo beans
a handful of roughly chopped fresh cilantro
1 lb good pasta, we used rigatoni here but you could use linguini
Kosher salt while cooking, Maldon salt to finish
freshly cracked pepper
olive oil
lemon for zest and juice to finish

what to do

first, turn the heat on to a large heavy bottom pan (big enough to add you pasta at the end). add a good guzzle of olive oil and the onions, and sauté to medium soft on a medium heat. just before it starts to brown, add in the garlic, you don't want to burn the garlic so turn the heat down a wee bit if you need to. sauté for about 5 mins, then turn the heat up high, and add the squid and sauté. keep it on high and with a flat bottom wooden spoon ensure that you keep things moving in the pan. after about 7-8 mins turn heat down to medium. there may be some liquid from the squid, which you want so don't loose it.

second, put your pasta water in to boil. add the tomatoes to the squid and continue to sauté, then add some kosher salt and cracked pepper. once the tomatoes have softened and become incorporated, turn the heat down to simmer. if there isn't a lot of liquid I sometimes add a wee bit white wine, or a wee bit stock. then add the garbanzo beans and stir to incorporate.

third, once the pasta water is ready, add your pasta ensuring that you have heavily salted the water. cook until al dente. once you've gotten your pasta to almost al dente, add it to the squid and incorporate over a low heat for about 1-2 mins. check the pasta to see how al dente it is and how you want it. if you think it's too dry, I add a wee bit of the pasta water but it shouldn't be too dry. 

lastly, take off the heat, add the chopped cilantro thoroughly incorporating it all. to finish it off, I add some Maldon salt, cracked pepper, lemon juice and zest ( to your liking and taste) and sometimes I finish with a wee guzzle of good olive oil. plate it up and enjoy!

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Strawberry Pie with Rosewater & Cardamom

things you'll need

pie plate
double portion of Perfect Pie Dough
two mixing bowls
rolling pin
baking tray

for the filling

3 1/2 cup of strawberries (hulled & quartered)
1 small baking apple
juice of a lemon
1/4 cup of white sugar plus 2 tbsp
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp of ground arrowroot
1/4 tsp of ground cardamom
2 tbsp of rosewater
large pinch of salt
crack of pepper
dash of Angostura bitters

egg wash (1 egg with dash of milk or water)
sugar for finishing

what to do

first, preheat the oven to 425˚F/220˚C. Roll out your pie dough and line a buttered pie pan. next take your washed, hulled, and quartered strawberries, sprinkle the 2 tbsp of sugar over them and set them aside for 20 minutes to macerate. then peel and grate your apple, adding the lemon juice to it then setting aside for later. in another bowl prepare your spice mixture. combine the rest of the sugar, spices, arrowroot, and bitters, and toss to combine. 

second, once the strawberries have macerated in the fridge for at least 20 minutes, discarding excess liquid that has built up at the bottom of your bowl, add the strawberries to the bowl with the spice mixture. then pour over your rosewater, add the grated apple and lemon juice, and toss it all to combine. sprinkle one tsp of flour and one of white sugar over the base of your pie plate to soak up the juices and pour the filling into the pie plate. I decided to give the top of my pie a mismatched lattice and played around with some braided edges (that needed some work), but you can essentially top it however you like, leaving some space for juices and steam to escape. then chill the pie in the freezer for about 5 minutes to firm up. brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. 

lastly, bake the pie on a pie tray in the middle rack of the oven. bake at 425˚F for 20-25 minutes, then turn 180 degrees and lower the temperature to 375˚F/190˚C. bake for another 30-35 minutes, check occasionally to make sure it isn't burning. you can turn down the temperature slightly but aim for 1 hr total baking time. it should be golden brown. and the bubbling of the fruit should subside. let cool for a least 1 hr before serving. 

enjoy!

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Grandma's "Slash and Burn" Spinach Soup

*my grandma informed me that the French add a bit of white bread to their soups to thicken them up -very traditional. If you want your soup thicker, with a "lovely silky texture" and not gluten free, then add some white bread, but it is not necessary. She also notes that "remember I am a slash and burn cook, and cannot often supply accurate measurements"*

things you'll need

medium stewing pot
large spoon for mixing
hand held blender

for the soup

a "large amount" of spinach,
washed with stalks cut of
medium onion
one leek (optional)
medium potato or two small
some white bread
some olive oil
pinch of chili
stock cube & water
(or ready made stock)

what to do 

first, chop the onion (and leek is you want) and cube the potato, then place in your pot, with a little oil. cook and sweat off until the onions are a bit soft and the potatoes have a little color. then add a little stock (fresh or with cube and water), and all of the spinach. (and broken up white bread if you want it thicker). once the spinach has wilted a little add more stock (about two pints total maybe). season it with salt and pepper, and add the chili (optional). then blend it all with the hand held blender. 

second, to serve. once the soup is blended smooth, taste it to see if you want to add more chili, and salt and pepper to taste. then spoon the soup into bowls. serve with a dollop of creme fraiche and slices of bread. 

enjoy!

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Apple Tart with Rosemary Caramel

things you'll need 

9 or 10-inch tart plate
two small saucepans
large mixing bowl
rolling pin
1 1/2 portion of Pie Dough (about 330g for the bottom crust,
and any left over for top decoration, optional..)

for the rosemary caramel (makes about 600ml)

three large sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 cup of heavy cream
1/2 (113g) cup of unsalted butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup golden syrup

or the filling

1 lb tart apples
2 tbsp of white or cane sugar
2 tbsp of brown packed sugar
2 tbsp of flour
3/4 tsp of cinnamon
1/4 tsp of nutmeg
1/4 allspice
dash of Angostura bitters
juice of one lemon
pinch of salt and grind of pepper
1 egg for wash & Demerara sugar for finish

what to do

first, preheat the oven to 190˚C/375˚F. then roll out your pie dough to a large circle about a pound coin thickness, or enough to line your tart tin with at least an inch over hang. then put this in the fridge to stay cold while you make the caramel and filling. if you are planning on doing any lattice work or another topping then roll out and prepare the rest of the dough, and place in fridge. 

second, to make the caramel, in a small sauce pan bring the heavy cream, 2/3 of the butter (6 tbsp or 85g), and rosemary to a simmer and let bubble for at least 5 minutes (don't over boil). take off the heat, put a lid on it and let stand to infuse. meanwhile place the rest of the butter, sugar and syrup in a small-medium saucepan. over medium heat bring this to boil, swirling the pan to stir but NOT sticking anything into the pan or it will crystalize. let boil for 8-10 minutes, watching the color to make sure it doesn't get to dark. after it has turned an amber color take off the heat and pour the infused cream into the sugar. it will fizz and steam so be careful because it is very hot. stir with a wooden spoon until homogenous then let cool slightly before fishing out the rosemary with a fork and pouring into jars. 

third, peel the apples, slice into 1/4 inch thick slices, and place into a large bowl. sprinkle 1 tbsp of white sugar over and the juice of one lemon. let sit for 15 minutes then drain off the excess juice. toss the apples in the flour, rest of the sugar, spices, bitters, and two tablespoons of caramel. 

lastly, to assemble and bake. spread a mixture of about 1 tsp of flour and 1 of sugar onto the base of the crust. then either arrange the apples in a spiral pattern or dump them into the crust, pressing down slightly to flatten. I decided to cut little concentric circles and arrange them around the rim, gluing them in place with egg wash. then egg wash any exposed crust with a mixture of 1 egg and a splash of water or milk, and sprinkle Demerara sugar to finish (optional). place the whole thing in the oven on a baking tray. bake for 20-25 minutes, turn the tart, and lower the temp to 160˚C/325˚F, and bake for at least another 30-35 minutes, checking it every 10-15 minutes to make sure it isn't getting too brown. you can cover with aluminum foil if it is browning too quickly. half way through baking take the tart out and drizzle another 2-3 tbsp of caramel over the apples. the tart is baked when the pastry is golden brown and the bubbling of the filling has subsided. serve with creme fraiche or ice cream. Serves 10-12. 

enjoy!

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jacqueline's orange and rose polenta tea cake (gf)

things you'll need

9-inch cake tin, preferably springform
large mixing bowl
hand held beaters (or standing mixer)
small sauce pan

for the cake batter

225g butter (at room temperature)
125g (1/2 cup & 2 tbsp) white sugar
100g (1/2 cup) dark muscovado sugar
4 eggs, beaten
225g (2 cups & 1/3 cup) ground almonds
115g (1/2 cup & 2 tbsp) polenta
Juice and zest of 3 oranges
A large pinch of rose petals
1½ tsp baking powder

for the orange soak & topping

100g (1/2 cup) white sugar
75ml orange juice
A small handful of rose petals
Zest of 1 orange

what to do

first, preheat the oven to 160˚C/325˚F. grease the cake tin with butter and line with parchment paper. in the large bowl cream together the softened butter and sugars until pale and fluffy. then add the eggs one by one, waiting between each addition in order to ensure the mixture doesn't split. 

second, add the polenta and ground almonds, and combine on a lower speed if using the mixer or fold if doing by hand. once the batter is smooth add the orange zest, juice, rose petals, and baking powder, and mix to combine. then pour the batter into the cake tin and pop in the oven. bake for 55 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. 

third, while the cake is baking prepare the orange soak. place the orange juice and sugar in a small sauce pan over medium high to bring to the boil. let simmer for 3-5 minutes until it has thickened slightly to a light syrup. 

lastly, once the cake has cooled but is still warm, poke 15-20 holes in the sponge with a skewer or fork. then pour the syrup over it, tilting the cake to help disperse the syrup. sprinkle the remaining rose petals and orange zest over the cake. then put the whole thing in the fridge over night. serve as preferred, with cream, creme fraiche or plain. serves 12.

enjoy!

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Jacqueline's orange and polenta tea cake (GF)

things you'll need

9-inch cake tin, preferably springform
large mixing bowl
hand held beaters (or standing mixer)
small sauce pan

for the cake batter

225g butter (at room temperature)
125g (1/2 cup & 2 tbsp) white sugar
100g (1/2 cup) dark muscovado sugar
4 eggs, beaten
225g (2 cups & 1/3 cup) ground almonds
115g (1/2 cup & 2 tbsp) polenta
Juice and zest of 3 oranges
A large pinch of rose petals
1½ tsp baking powder

for the orange soak & topping

100g (1/2 cup) white sugar
75ml orange juice
A small handful of rose petals
Zest of 1 orange

what to do

first, preheat the oven to 160˚C/325˚F. grease the cake tin with butter and line with parchment paper. in the large bowl cream together the softened butter and sugars until pale and fluffy. then add the eggs one by one, waiting between each addition in order to ensure the mixture doesn't split. 

second, add the polenta and ground almonds, and combine on a lower speed if using the mixer or fold if doing by hand. once the batter is smooth add the orange zest, juice, rose petals, and baking powder, and mix to combine. then pour the batter into the cake tin and pop in the oven. bake for 55 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. 

third, while the cake is baking prepare the orange soak. place the orange juice and sugar in a small sauce pan over medium high to bring to the boil. let simmer for 3-5 minutes until it has thickened slightly to a light syrup. 

lastly, once the cake has cooled but is still warm, poke 15-20 holes in the sponge with a skewer or fork. then pour the syrup over it, tilting the cake to help disperse the syrup. sprinkle the remaining rose petals and orange zest over the cake. then put the whole thing in the fridge over night. serve as preferred, with cream, creme fraiche or plain. serves 12.

enjoy!

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my favorite strawberry & rhubarb pie 

things you'll need

large mixing bowl
baking tray
double crust portion of Pie Dough

for the filling

1 pound of rhubarb chopped into 1/4 inch thick pieces
2 cups of strawberries chopped to similar size as rhubarb
about 1/3 & 2 tablespoons (84g) of white sugar
2/3 cup (146g) of brown sugar
3 tablespoons ground arrowroot
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of ground cardamon
1/4 teaspoon of allspice
1 egg
large pinch of salt
dash of Angostura Bitters
Demerara sugar to finish
an egg and a splash of milk for egg wash

what to do

first, preheat the oven to 425˚F/220˚C, then roll out one half of the pie dough into a large circle. grease a pie plate with butter, then line it with the dough, leaving about 1 inch extra hanging off the rim. take about 1 heaped teaspoon of flour and of sugar, mix, and spread out on the base of the crust. this will soak up juices when baking, and prevent a soggy bottom. pop this into the fridge to stay cold.

second, in a large bowl, combine the sugars, arrowroot, spices, and salt. then add all of the fruit and toss to coat the fruit in the spice mixture. then whisk the 1 egg with the dash of bitters. add this to the mix, and stir to combine everything.

third, take the other half of the pie dough, roll it out to similar thickness as the base. cut out six large strips for a lattice. then pour the fruit into the pie plate, juices and all. top with a lattice. fold the extra pastry hanging off the rim into itself and press to seal. then crimp if you please, or leave it, whichever you prefer. 

lastly, place on a baking tray, egg wash the pastry, and sprinkle all over with Demerara sugar. bake for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry starts to turn golden. then turn completely and lower the temperature to 375˚F/190˚C, and bake for another 30-35 minutes, or until the pastry is deep golden brown, and the bubbling of the fruit around the edges subsides. allow to cool for 30 minutes before slicing up. Serves 8-10. 

enjoy!

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apple, pear, & blackberry galette with candied rosemary

things you'll need

baking tray
baking paper
rolling pin (although anything cylindrical will work
if you don't have a rolling, I used a wine bottle)
2 large mixing bowls
single crust portion of Pie Dough (325-340g)

for the candied rosemary

two large sprigs of fresh rosemary
1/3 cup (67g) sugar
1 tablespoon water

for filling

2 small baking apples
1 baking pear
handful of blackberries
juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons (24 g) of flour
6 tablespoons (75 g) of white/cane sugar
1  tablespoon and 1 teaspoon (18 g) of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
pinch of salt
an egg and splash of milk for egg wash
a few extra tablespoons of butter

what to do

first, to make the candied rosemary: place the 1/3 cup sugar and tablespoon of water in a small heavy bottom sauce pan. put it on medium low so that the sugar starts to melt. you may need to take a pastry brush dipped in water and brush the sides of the inside of the pot if the sugar has stuck there as it will cause the syrup to crystalize. add the rosemary and bring the mixture to boil. swirl the pot to stir the mixture, and let boil for about 5 minutes until it reduces and thickens up. do not burn it, we are not making caramel so it shouldn't change color. then once it has boiled, using a fork fish out the rosemary and lay it on a piece of baking paper. DO NOT touch it as it will be very hot. pour the remaining syrup in a heat proof or microwavable bowl or glass. let the rosemary cool and harden.

second, to make the filling: preheat oven to 375˚F/190˚C. peel the apples and pear, and slice into 1/4 inch thick wedges. in a large bowl toss the fruit in the lemon juice and set aside. in another bowl mix together all of the dry ingredients for the filling, including about 1 teaspoon of the candied rosemary diced. take

third, to assemble: take the chilled and rested pie dough out of the fridge, and roll into a large circle. in order to provide yourself with a guide line of where to place your fruit, take a small bowl and turn it upside to press a slight outline of a circle in the center of the pastry (DON'T go all the way through the dough!!) , providing about an inch or two of border around the edges. place this on a baking tray lined with baking paper. then take about two heaped tablespoons of your spice mix and spread it around the center of your dough to the borders of the outline you made previously. you will lay your fruit on top and the purpose of this is to soak all of the juices up and prevent getting a soggy bottom. then toss your apples and pears in the remaining spice mixture and lay them on top of the layer of sugar and flour. the pattern you orient your fruit in doesn't really matter, you can pile it all up if you feel like it. top the apples and pears with your blackberries. then go around the border of your circle and with a knife cut from the edge into the base of where the fruit starts. alternate all the way around every two inches or so to create flaps, look at the picture above for a visual of this. then fold the flaps over the fruit and pinch the tops edges together slightly to seal. heat up the rosemary syrup in the microwave for about 20 seconds or until liquid again, and pour about 2 or 3 tablespoons on top of the fruit (depending on preferred rosemary taste). 

fourth, to bake: for the egg wash, mix the egg and splash of milk together and brush the pastry with a pastry brush, or with your fingers if you don't have one. sprinkle the pastry with white or Demerara sugar. then put in the preheated over. bake for about 30 minutes, or until the pastry starts to brown, add the extra few tablespoons of softened butter to the fruit, then turn the baking tray, lower the heat to 325˚F/160˚C, and bake for another 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and the bubbling of the fruit has started to subside. cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before slicing up. Serves about 6.

enjoy!

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louise's healthy sweet potato & red pepper soup (gf/dairy-free)

what to do

chop shallots and place in pot on medium/low heat with some oil to fry off until soft (don't over brown). chop the sweet potato into cubes, add two shallots, give it a few stirs, and allow to caramelize. after a few minutes, chop the pepper into cubes, and add to pot. give it all a stir, and while letting that fry off dice the ginger, garlic, and chili, then add to pot. give it a stir to evenly disperse everything in the pot, then add the coconut milk. add enough water so that the veg is covered by liquid, then let simmer for 15-20 minutes until everything is soft, and you can stick a fork through the sweet potato, do not over boil. add all of the coriander, stalks and all, give it a stir and give it a few minutes to soften before taking it off the heat. then with the hand blender, blitz everything until smooth. serve warm with a drizzle of creme fraiche, some fresh coriander, and a slice of warm bread for dunking. 

enjoy!

things you'll need

large stewing pot
hand blender

for the soup

1 large sweet potato ( you can add extra if desired)
1 red pepper
4 banana shallots
thumb sized piece of ginger
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 a red chilli
3/4 can of coconut milk
bunch of coriander chopped (stalks and all)
juice of half a lime
dash of gluten free soy sauce (optional)
salt & pepper

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browned butter chocolate chip cookies with flaked sea salt

things you'll need

small pot
large baking tray
large mixing bowl

for the cookie dough

1 3/4 cup (225 g) flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
14 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
3/4 cup (165 g) dark brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter (optional)
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
100g milk chocolate (chopped in chunks)
100g dark chocolate (chopped in chunks)
flaked Maldon sea salt

preheat oven to 375ºF/190ºC and adjust rack to middle position

line baking sheet with baking paper. then whisk flour and baking soda together in bowl and set aside. heat 10 tablespoons butter in the small sauce pan over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. remove pan from heat and, using heatproof spatula, transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl. Stir remaining 4 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon of peanut butter (optional) into hot butter until completely melted. 

add both sugars, salt, and vanilla to bowl with butter and whisk until fully incorporated. add egg and yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds. Let mixture stand 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds. repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is thick, smooth, and shiny. using rubber spatula or wooden spoon, fold in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute. stir in chopped chocolate, giving dough final stir to ensure no flour at the bottom and sides remain.

let tray heat for 5 minutes in the oven before placing balls of the dough on the baking sheet and putting them in the oven; you only have to do this for the first round that goes in the tray will be hot when placing the next round of dough on to get baked. make sure to give the dough space to spread out. bake for 6-10 minutes depending on size (i went for 6 minutes as i like a chewier texture). then remove from oven and place on baking tray to cool before doing the next round. flake with sea salt and enjoy!

any remaining dough can be shaped into a log, wrapped in cling wrap and put in freezer. makes roughly 24 cookies depending on size.

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Angela's Recipe for Mini Mince Pies

things you'll need

12 cup muffin tin
2 round pastry/cookie cutters, 1 for the base
and 1 slightly smaller for the top
A large mixing bowl
rolling pin
1/4 cup cup cold milk in a cup
1/c cup caster sugar in a cereal bowl

for the pastry

8 oz plain all purpose flour
4oz butter cubed (room temperature)
2oz white sugar
small jug of cold water

14oz jar of mincemeat mix (Ange likes to use Robertson's brand which you can get at whole foods)

 

what to do

preheat oven to 350ºF/177ºC.
in the large mixing bowl combine the flour and white sugar. rub the cold cubed butter into the flour mixture until you have a fine breadcrumb consistency. you can do this either by hand or blitz it in a food processor.

make a well in the middle of the bowl. pour cold water into the well, no more than about 1/4 cup, with a knife cut the water into the flour/butter mixture and then with your hands bring it together into a ball, being careful not to over work your dough or the butter will melt and your pastry will be tough. wrap the dough in cling film and place in the fridge to rest for at least 20 minutes before rolling out.
on a clean counter top, add flour to the surface and to the rolling pin. divide the pastry into 2 uneven pieces, 2/3 and 1/3.

on your floured surface, take the biggest piece of pastry and shape into a smooth flat round, so it's easy to roll out. roll out the pastry till it is about 1/8” thick - no thinner. with the larger pastry cutter, cut out 12 pieces, repeating the reshaping and rolling in order to get 12 out. anything left over, you can add to the smaller pastry ball. gently placing each piece into the cups of the muffin tins. there is no need to mold the bottom into the corners as you do want a little round bottom.

take the mince meat jar and spoon out the ingredients evenly to the 12 cases. with the smaller pastry ball, repeat the flouring, shaping and rolling process as before, only this time use the smaller cutter to cut out 12 lids for your pies. take the milk in the jar and with a pastry brush, brush the under edges of the lids before placing them over the pies. with your finger, pressing lightly on the lid, around the perimeter so that it bonds with the bottom pastry. using the pastry brush, brush the tops of the pies. then with a sharp knife, make a slight incision in the middle of the lid, wiggle the knife slightly to create a small opening, about 1/4” in total, so that steam can escape while baking. sprinkle caster sugar over the tops of the pies

place in the middle of the oven and bake for about 40-50 minutes till the pies are a light golden colour. remove them when they are looking slightly golden on the top, you don't need to take them too far. pretty much straight away tap the muffin tin on your counter top till the pies become loose. leave to cool on a bakers rack.

when the pies are cool enough to handle, take 1 and drop it into the caster sugar bowl to coat both sides of the pie. repeat for each one. serve warm or cold with either whipped fresh cream, ice cream, or just plain.

enjoy!

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