Sunday, December 5, 2010

Mincemeat, The Sequel

"Thanksgiving Day has come and gone, the bones are in the trash.
We've eaten everything in sight including turkey hash!
As we waddle up the stairs and climb into our beds
We all have secret sugar plums dancing in our heads....
Oh! Christmas is coming, and we are getting fat,
Cause we're eating too much of this and that!
(Lyrics by Jean Perry ) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRcAIkcL028

    The mincemeat was glistening in the jar, and Thanksgiving morning my adorable youngest granddaughter, who must have inherited my affinity for early rising, joined me in the kitchen to make mincemeat tarts.
Ania is a pastry whiz, and is here cutting little leaf toppers for our tarts

      We baked 48 tarts, by rolling  pastry into little balls, and pressing into mini muffin tins. Each tart only holds about a tablespoon of mincemeat mixture, and is then topped with a small pastry leaf. Sharing one tray with friends, the rest were readily consumed after our feast later in the day.
      So as promised, here is the recipe for the Mincemeat itself. It is taken from "Delia Smith's Complete Cookery Course" BBC 1982, converted to American from British measurements, and tweaked a little for personal preference by yours truly.
Home-made Christmas Mincemeat

 1# cooking  apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
8 oz butter
2 cups golden raisins
1 cup raisins
1 cup zante currants
1 cup candied mixed peel
2 cups brown sugar
Finely grated zest and juice of 2 oranges
Finely grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
 1/2 cup brandy

Mix all ingredients except brandy in a large bowl very thouroughly. cover and let set for 12 hours. Place in an open roasting pan and heat in preheated 225° oven for 3 hours. This prevents fermentation. Allow mincemeat to cool, stir in brandy and spoon into clean glass jars. This mixture keeps for months! 
   
“No Fuss Piecrust”
Instant pie crust on the push of a button!
Ingredients List:
4 ounces (1 stick) butter
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
4 tablespoons dry white wine (or 3 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon vinegar) 
Directions:
Place flour in bowl of a food processor; chop cold butter into small (1/2”) chunks. Process on pulse until mixture is the consistency of coarse meal. While pulsing sporadically, slowly add 4 tablespoons wine or water & vinegar mixture.  Process just until mixture is the consistency of large dirt clods.
Gather clods by hand, gently pat into a ball and let rest 15-20 minutes before rolling.
Makes enough crust for 1 deep dish topless 10” pie, or 24 mini tarts.Don’t try to double recipe, just keep mixing more as you need it. Save all scraps to ball up and re-roll, rather than mixing scraps into new balls.

With just a little effort, these glistening little treats will fill your home with amazing home baked fragrance, garner you untold compliments from guests, and get your taste buds in the old fashioned holiday spirit, for sure!

Visions of Sugarplums!