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.

Lemon Drizzle Cake

A cake with a crunchy, zingy top; perfect with a cup of tea.

100g Butter
175g Caster sugar
175g Self Raising Flour
5ml Baking powder
5ml Vanilla extract
2 eggs
30ml Milk
1 Lemon rind & juice
Topping:
1 Lemon juice
100g Granulated sugar
1. Preheat oven to 160C.
2. Grease & line an 18cm/7″ deep round tin.
3. Beat all the ingredients for the cake together for 2-3 minutes with an electric mixer.
4. Pour into your prepared tin & level the top.
5. Bake for 35-40 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
6. Whilst the cake is baking, mix together the lemon juice and sugar for the topping.
7. As soon at the cake comes out of the oven, spread the topping mixture evenly over it whilst it’s still hot.
8. Leave the cake in the tin to cool completely.
9. Turn out on to a serving plate.

Flavoured sugars

You can flavour caster sugar to use in cakes, baking, biscuits or desserts. It’s really simple to do, so I want to share with you some easy flavours to make.

Take a clean Kilner jar.
Fill it 3/4 full of caster sugar.

VANILLA SUGAR
Vertically slice 4 vanilla pods, leaving the vanilla seeds inside.
Add these to the jar, top up with caster sugar, seal the lid and shake well.
Shake every few days and leave to infuse for a couple of weeks.
Use as needed and top back up with sugar, shake as before.
You will find that the sugar sticks together to start with as it draws the moisture out of the vanilla pods. Keep shaking and be patient with it!

ORANGE & CLOVE SUGAR
Using a potato peeler, peel the zest from an orange, place it onto a baking tray in an oven at 100C for an hour until dry.
Allow to cool.
Add the orange peel and 8-10 whole cloves to the sugar.
Top up, seal and shake well.
Shake every few days and leave to infuse for a couple of weeks.
Use as needed and top back up with sugar, shake as before. Make sure to pick out the cloves from your baking.

LAVENDER SUGAR
Pick fresh, clean lavender flowers. Ensure that you haven’t used any pesticides nearby.
Shake off any insects etc.
Place somewhere warm until dry.
Remove the flowers from the stalks and add these to the jar, top up with caster sugar, seal the lid and shake well.
Shake every few days and leave to infuse for a couple of weeks before using.
Sieve to use as needed, returning the flowers to the jar and top back up with sugar, shake as before.
You want the ratio to be about 98% sugar to 2% lavender.