Mince Pies with a Sweet Cinnamon Pastry

Using the mincemeat I made from mum’s vintage recipe book, I made up a batch of sweet cinnamon pastry and turned out some gorgeous tasting mince pies.

200g Plain flour
5ml Ground Cinnamon
Pinch salt
50g Lard
50g Butter
25g Sugar
30ml (approx.) Cold water

1. Place the flour and cinnamon in a large bowl with the salt.
2. Cut the lard and the butter into small cubes and rub the fat into your flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
3. Stir in the sugar.
4. Add most of the water and mix together with a table knife until a dough forms.  You will need to adjust the water depending on your mixture.
5. Turn the dough out onto a floured board and quickly bring it together.
6. Wrap it in cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to cool.
7. Preheat your oven to 220C.
8. Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out on a floured board.
9. Cut round shapes to fit the cake/muffin tin you are using.
10. Place the pastry rounds into your tin, being careful not to puncture the pastry (the mince pies will stick in the tin if you do).
11. Fill the pastry cases 1/2 way up and place a cut out shape of leftover pastry on the top.
12. Cook for 15 minutes until the pastry is golden brown (the pastry will be slightly darker than normal due to the sugar and cinnamon content.
13. Remove to a cooling rack and allow to cool a little.
14. Enjoy with a cup of coffee and perhaps a dollop of my rum butter that will melt through.

Well…. I had to have a bite to check they were ok, didn’t I?

Mincemeat from mum’s 1958 book

This recipe comes from one of the two recipe books my mum has given to me recently.

It was originally gifted to her and dad in 1958.  I aim to try many of these tried and tested recipes in an attempt to bring back good, old fashioned, baking.  As this is a vintage recipe, I’ve chosen to use imperial measurements first with the metric equivalent bracketed afterwards.
1lb Raisins (450g)
1lb Currants (450g)
1lb Sultanas (450g)
1lb Apples (450g)
1/2lb Candied peel (225g)
1/2lb Suet (225g)
Pinch salt
1/2lb Demerara sugar (225g)
1tsp Cinnamon (5ml)
2 Lemons, rind and juice
2tbs Orange marmalade (30ml)
1/4 pint Rum (125ml)
1. Coarsely chop the dried fruit and place into a large mixing bowl.
2. Peel and core the apples then chop finely. Add to the bowl.
3. Add the candied peel, suet, salt, sugar, cinnamon, rind and juice of the lemons, the marmalade and the rum.
4. Mix thoroughly together.

5. Place into sterilised jars and seal.
6. Store in a cool, dark place.
This recipe will make approx. 6lb of mincemeat and if kept in the right conditions should keep for a year.
Brandy may be used instead of rum.

Cinnamon Muffin Buns

These aren’t the prettiest of things to look at, but oh my, the taste is incredible! This was originally an American recipe that I’ve converted to UK measurements and added my own little tweaky bits to. Hope you like it!

180ml Milk
55g Butter
400g Plain flour
7g Fast acting yeast
50g Granulated sugar
5ml Salt
60ml Water
1 Egg
200g Soft brown sugar
5ml Cinnamon
100g Butter
100g Sultanas

1. Warm the milk & butter together until the butter has just melted, then set aside to cool.
2. In a large bowl, put 300g of the flour, the yeast, the sugar on top of this and then the salt. It’s important to keep the salt and the yeast apart initially as the salt will kill the yeast.
3. Add the water, beaten egg and the milk & butter mixture to the flour and beat until well combined.
4. Add the remaining 100g of flour and mix well together. Once the dough has formed and come together, it’s ready to be kneaded.
5. Drizzle a small amount of vegetable oil onto your work surface (I like to use oil instead of flour so that the mixture doesn’t dry out). Spread the oil out with your hand, this will also stop the dough from sticking to your hand.
6. Tip the dough out onto the oiled surface and knead it well for approx. 5 mins until it’s smooth and no longer sticky.
7. Put your dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film.
8. Leave your dough in a warm place to rest and to allow the yeast to start to develop for about 10 mins.
9. Soften your butter and mix together thoroughly with the brown sugar and cinnamon to form a paste.
10. Lightly flour your work surface and gently roll out your dough to a rectangle approx 24 x 30cm.
11. Spread the butter mixture onto the dough, but leave a gap of 1-2 cm all round.
12. Sprinkle the dough surface evenly with your sultanas.
13. Fold over 2-3cm of your dough, starting at the long edge, then roll to the end to form a 30cm long ‘sausage’.
14. Cut into 12 equal slices.
15. Grease a 12 hole, deep muffin pan.
15. Place a slice into each of the muffin cups, cover with cling film and leave to rise for 30 mins or until doubled in size.
16.  Bake in a preheated oven at 190C for 20 mins.
17. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 5 minutes in the tin.
18. Place a sheet of baking parchment onto your cooling rack, then remove the cinnamon muffin buns from the tin & leave to cool.

These are lovely served warm with a nice cup of tea or coffee.

Carrot Cake with lime & walnuts with an orange & mascarpone frosting

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It’s is a cake recipe that I’ve made many a time, but tonight I decided to make it with a bit of a twist on the method & a couple of the ingredients, (just because I can & I wanted to see how it turned out). It’s a belated (3week late) birthday cake for my hubby, who I might add thought it tasted devine (as did the kids).
200ml Farringtons Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil
250g Light soft brown sugar
3 eggs, separated
150g Carrots, grated
10ml (2tbs) Lime juice
100g Walnuts, chopped, plus a few halves for decoration
250g Self Raising flour
2.5ml (1/2 tsp) Bicarbonate of Soda
5ml (1tsp) Baking powder
5ml (1tsp) Ground Cinnamon
5ml (1tsp) Ground Nutmeg
250g Mascarpone cheese
200g Philadelphia cheese
150g Icing sugar
1 Orange, zested
1. Preheat your oven to 180C.
2. Grease & line the base of 2 x 20cm (8″) round tins.
3. Whisk the oil sugar & egg yolks together until smooth.
4. Add the grated carrot, lime juice & chopped walnuts. Mix thoroughly.
5. Sieve the flour, bi-carbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon & nutmeg together.
6. Fold the flour mix into the oil & egg mix until thoroughly combined.
7. Whisk the egg whites until stiff.
8. GENTLY fold the egg whites into the flour & oil mixture, being careful not to knock the air out of it.
9. Divide between your two tins.
10. Place on the centre shelf of your oven for 40-45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean & the cake has started to come away from the sides of the tin.
11. Leave to cool in the tins before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely.
12. Whisk together the mascarpone cheese, Philadelphia cheese, icing sugar and orange zest until thoroughly combined.
13. When the cakes are cool sandwich together with 1/3 of the frosting.
14. Smooth the remaining 2/3 of the frosting over the top & sides of the cake.
15. Decorate with halved walnuts as desired.
16. Keep cool due to the cheese frosting.
By separating the eggs and folding in the whisked egg whites, it will give you a lighter, larger variation on a normal carrot cake.
The Farrington cold pressed rapeseed oil is produced locally to me in Northamptonshire & adds the most amazing taste, as well as being healthy (NOTE: I was not sponsored by, or provided with a sample of Farrington Cold Pressed Oil. The opinion stated is purely my own and is totally unbiased towards them).
The lime juice can be changed to lemon juice if you wish.
Walnuts are optional, both in the cake and also as decoration.
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