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'