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Christmas recipes to delight

Anne Morton was kind enough to share a few of her great Christmas recipes with us.



ORIGINS OF CHRISTMAS MINCE


The original Christmas mince pie dates back to medieval times when it did in fact contain meat. Over the centuries the meat has been slowly replaced with more spices, sugars and dried fruit as they became readily available. At one stage the pie was made oval in shape to symbolise the manger and the mince meat contained 3 spices symbolising the gifts from the Three Kings.

To ensure a lucky year the story goes that you should eat 12 pies between Christmas Day and the Twelfth Day !!!


Blackcurrant and Honey Christmas Mince


This nutritious black fruit is high in Vitamin C and antioxidants. Combined with honey they give an interesting flavour to this Christmas Mince.


2 cup frozen Sujon blackcurrants

2 cups mixed fruit

1 cup dates – chopped and tightly packed

flesh from 1 tangelo – chopped

¼ cup honey

¼ teaspoon mixed spice

3 tablespoons brandy


Place blackcurrants into a saucepan. Over a low heat cook until thawed and juices run. Stir in mixed fruit, dates, tangelo flesh, honey and spice. Slowly bring to the boil, simmer gently uncovered for 8-10 minutes or until thick and pulpy. Stir frequently to prevent sticking. Remove from heat. Stir in brandy. Spoon into sterilized jars. Seal. Store in refrigerator.



MACAROON TOPPED CHRISTMAS MINCE PIES


2 sheets sweet short pastry

Blackcurrant and Honey Christmas Mince


Macaroon topping

2 large egg whites

¼ cup caster sugar

1 cup ground almonds

¼ cup coconut

½ teaspoon almond essence


Whisk egg whites until stiff, gradually add sugar, beating well after each addition. Fold in almonds, coconut and essence. Set aside.


To assemble tarts

Lightly dust bench with flour. Place on pastry square. No rolling needed. Using a 8cm, round cutter, cut out 9 rounds from each square. Evenly push into 18 ungreased muffin tins. Prick base on each one. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Fill each case ¾ full with mince. Use a generous teaspoon full of Macaroon mixture for topping. To prevent topping burning, place low in oven. Bake at 200ºC for 10-15 minutes. Cool. Store in an airtight container. Delicious warm as a dessert with lashing of whipped cream laced with Cointreau or Maraschino liqueur. I bet you’ll eat more than 12 between Christmas Day and the Twelfth Day !!!


COCONUT CRÈME BRULEE OF CHRISTMAS MINCE


A simply delicious fuss free dessert

Br;ulee literally means “burnt cream”. Contrary to popular opinion, this dessert isn’t too difficult to make. I find for best results use individual ramekins to create this creamy, rich, toffee topped French dessert. Best made the day before. Caramelise sugar just before serving.


Blackcurrant and Honey Christmas Mince

1½ cups milk

400ml can coconut cream

2 kaffir lime leaves or 10cm length of lemon peel

6 large egg yolks

¼ cup caster sugar

generous ½ cup raw sugar

long coconut threads – toasted

zest 1 lemon

butter for greasing


Lightly grease 4 x 1 cup ramekins. Set aside. In each ramekin, spread 2 tablespoons of Christmas Mince over the base.


Pour milk and cream into a saucepan along with kaffir lime leaves or lemon peel. Bring to the boil. Remove from heat. Set aside to cool. 10-15 minutes. Remove leaves or peel.

In a large bowl beat yolks and sugar together until thick and creamy. Slowly pour in cool milk, stirring continuously. Evenly pour into prepared ramekins. Place in a roasting dish. Pour in enough cold water to come half way up the side of ramekins. Cover baking dish with tinfoil. Bake at 160ºC for 40-50 minutes or until set. Custard will have a slight wobble when cooked. Carefully remove from water and set aside to cool. Refrigerate. Just before serving, preheat grill. Sprinkle top of custards with a thin layer of sugar. Grill until bubbly and golden. Stand for 5 minutes, repeat sugar process. This will give a deliciously thick caramelised top. Garnish with coconut threads, lemon zest and enjoy immediately. Place a doyley on a decorative saucer, put on Brulee, carefully crack crust to show cream. Yum !!


Happy Cooking

Anne

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