At this time of year we are all so busy with the preparations for Christmas that you may find yourself with not a lot of time for baking, so this week I have picked two recipes to suit people who don’t have a lot of time on their hand.
The mincemeat tart is much faster to make than individual mince pies but still has the same wonderful flavour and for those who have not got around to making a Traditional Christmas Cake the Fruit and Nut cake is a great alternative.
1oz Castor Sugar
8oz Plain Flour
1 Egg Yolk
2tsp Cold Water
2 Cooking Apples
Preheat the oven 170⁰. Grease a 9” round loose bottom flan tin.
To make the pastry mix the flour and sugar together and rub in the margarine until it resembles fine breadcrumbs, then add in the egg and water until you have a soft dough, lightly knead on a floured surface then roll out and place in the fridge for 1 hour and then line the flan tin, keep the cut offs to decorate the top of the tart. Stew the cooking apples with the water and sugar. Combine the stewed apple and mincemeat together and spoon into the flan and out of the left over pastry cut out some holly leaf shapes and place on top of the filling, glaze the sides of the pastry and the holly leaves with a little beaten egg and place flan tin onto preheated tray as this gives the pastry base a good golden colour. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Allow to cool and serve with delicious homemade brandy butter.
Fruit & Nut Cake
9oz Dried Figs, chopped
4½oz Walnuts, chopped
1 Orange, zest and juice
4oz Marzipan, chopped into small pieces
6oz Butter, softened
6oz Golden Castor Sugar
3 Free Range Eggs, beaten
8oz Plain Flour
1tsp Baking Powder
Heat the oven to 150° and double line an 8” round tin with greaseproof paper. Place the figs, walnuts, orange juice , orange zest and sherry into a bowl and leave to marinade.
In a separate bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light & fluffy, next gradually add in the eggs, next add in the sultanas and next sift in the flour and baking powder.
Stir in the fig and walnut mixture along with the juice and the chopped pieces of marzipan; give a good stir to make sure everything is well mixed.
Spoon the mixture into the lined cake tin and bake for 1 hour, reduce the oven temperature to 140° and bake for a further 30 to 45 minutes, check with a skewer to ensure the cake is fully baked.
Remove from the oven and leave in the tin for 10 minutes to cool, then turn out onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely.