Thursday, 27 December 2012

Some Traditional Christmas Sweet Treats

on the left a traditional British mince pie             on the right a Finnish ‘Joulutorttu’ a Christmas star pastry

 Marja a Finnish friend made star pastries and I made mince pies. Both are traditional Christmas treats though when I was a child my mother made them at other times of the year too.
The Finnish stars are made with puff pastry and a spiced prune compote filling, close cousins of the mince pie and delicious. I'd like to have a go at making some.

For the mince pies I made short crust pastry using butter and flour with orange zest and juice. The use of orange was a tip I picked up from the Hairy Bikers on TV.  And like them I put the pastry in the fridge to rest before rolling it out. Usually I don't want to wait for it but it paid off as the pastry was really light and melt in the mouth. The mincemeat I used was made using Delia Smith's recipe and very good, I bought some jars of it at a Macmillan coffee morning. I added a little finely chopped Bramley apple from the garden.

Mince pies are thought to have originated in the 13th C when Crusaders brought recipes back with them from the Middle East. They contained a mixture of minced meat, fruit and spices and became known as mutton pies. Other meats used were goose, beaf veal etc. Modern mince meat contains a hint of this as it includes suet. Some use vegetarian suet.

Did you know?

Your 'mince pies' is cockney rhyming slang for your 'eyes'

Said to be a favourite of Father Christmas. Leave them by the fireplace with a glass of something warming and a carrot for Rudolph.

They were eaten in the Pepys household in the 17th century and either home made by Mrs Pepys and her maids or sent for from 'abroad'


Erika Price said...

Very impressed that you make your own mince pies, Tessa. My pastry is always a flop, so we buy our mince pies from the local bakers!

Ceci said...

yum! Especially the Christmas Star