Friday, 5 December 2008

Christmas Puddings and Mince Pies

I've been hit by the dreaded lurgy, but as they say "there's no rest for the wicked", what with Christmas just around the corner, so I have made some individual Christmas puddings and mince pies this week and put them in the freezer. I like to bake as many items as possible in advance so that I at least feel slightly organised!
Individual Christmas Puddings
150g/5oz SR flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground mixed spice
50g/2oz softened butter
2 eggs, size 2
75ml/3floz molasses or treacle
110ml/4floz Irish stout
2 tbsp dark rum
411g jar of luxury or homemade mincemeat
75g/3oz Bramley apple - peeled, cored and finely chopped
175g/6oz currants
25g/1oz roasted hazelnuts, chopped
Grated zest of an orange and a lemon
8 individual pudding basins plus paper and foil
1. Place dry ingredients, butter, eggs, molasses, stout and rum into a processor and beat together. Alternatively place ingredients into a large bowl and use a hand-held electric whisk.
2. Stir in mincemeat, apple, currants, nuts and zests.
3. Grease 8 small pudding basins and divide mixture equally into the basins.
4. Cover each with a circle of buttered greaseproof paper and a square of foil, using a pleating motion to seal edges.
5. Place in a roasting tin and pour 1cm of boiling water around the basins.
6. Bake in a preheated oven at 180'C for approximately 45 minutes.
7. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from basins by running a knife around the pudding before turning onto a serving plate.
These can also be cooled, individually wrapped in greaseproof paper and placed in a container in the freezer until Christmas. Defrost before cooking and bake on a tray, covered with a foil tent at 180'C for 25 minutes or reheat in a microwave.
Orange Pastry for Mince pies
500g/1lb plain flour
175g/6oz icing sugar
375g/12oz softened butter
Zest and juice of 1 orange
Sift flour into a bowl and rub in butter until mixture is crumbled. Stir in zest and sugar. Using a knife stir in orange juice until dough just begins to stick together. Gather up dough and pat into a disk, wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Makes approximately 24 mince pies. The pastry is light, crumbly and rich so leave the mince pies to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the tin.
They are very rich so I make mine in mini muffin tins, which then makes 55 smaller pies.

That's two items off the to-do-list ... lots more left!

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