An Angel in the Kitchen is a real food and family recipe blog.
A place to be able to find our recipes again & remember how we made stuff!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Christmas Fruit Mince

Having come across a couple of recipes for fruit mince recently I thought that I'd have go at making some and have come to the conclusion that it is the most versatile & delicious recipe of the season.
I am a give-me-the-recipe, show-me-the-lovely-pictures, then-make-it-up-as-you-go-along sort of girl. I have had to do a wee bit of research on this one as fruit mince has never really made much sense to me apart from being delicious & usually hidden in wee pies. It really does carry quite an aura of mystique about it & harbours just a suspicion of trickiness pfff....if you can chop stuff you can make fruit mince...& who said that it had to be minced anyway!!???
It's a pretty medieval concoction (literally) & was banned at one stage before making a comeback in smaller pie form. The traditional lard ie beef fat was probably originally added as a preservative as was the spice & the plonk, however, all that is really required is a quantity of dried fruits to taste & budget & availability.

I have used lots of apricots, prunes, golden sultanas & sticky raisins in this particular mix.
Dried currants, ginger, dried pear, figs, dates, cranberries, razz cherries etc are also possibilities.
I chose to slice the fruit in to slivers rather than dice it but feel free to make it up as you go along.
Add a tsp of really good ground cinnamon.
Lots of orange & lemon zest & juice..probably at least 3 oranges.
1/2 cup of brown sugar or runny honey. ( My favourite honey of all is rewa rewa.)
1/2 cup of brandy.
And 2 grated apples..wash, don't need to peel.
I have deliberately left out the suet, butter, mixed spice & artificial vanilla essence..ahh, much better!
Mix all together, cover & let it sit for 24 hours. Now, have a little taste & tell me that it'll make it to Christmas! You could seal it in jars but that would be silly really. It'll keep fine in a bowl or jar in the fridge.
This mix is superb with Greek yoghurt.

The Pear & Ginger version...very yummy!! 
diced dried pear ( I found this at Chantal recently)
+ equal quantity of golden raisins roughly chopped
1 tsp ground ginger
juice of 3 or 4 oranges
2 tbsp runny honey
an apple & a pear, grated
plus a good slosh of plonk (optional of course)
 up to you..I had some homemade limoncello lurking
 in a cupboard

as before: leave to "soak" for 24 hours
This wonderfully succulent mix can now be used
 in all kinds of ways.
Try adding 1/2 fruit mix 1/2 thick Greek yoghurt
 & another spoonful of honey.
 Chill, or partially freeze & serve on it's own
 or with strawberries...a perfect combination
Or..gently mix fruit in to softened good quality vanilla icecream & refreeze.

Oh yes, of course, you could now use either mix to actually make Christmas mince pies!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Prune and Ginger Loaf

A brilliantly simple loaf with loads of our Jamie would say

1 cup of pitted prunes ( I use them whole)
1/2 cup of drained or crystallized ginger
1 tsp powdered ginger
1 tsp finely grated root ginger (optional)
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tbsps treacle
1 cup boiling water
1 tsp baking soda

Mix altogether.
Cool for a bit, then add 2 cups of wholemeal flour.
For this loaf I used a cup of blue konini wheat flour & 1 cup of 7 grain zentrofen.
I like to use good flours so that it's not just baking but more a wholesome food!
  Spoon in to a greased loaf tin & cook for around 50 mins at 180 degrees C
Ginger & prunes make a lovely combination. A very fragrant pruny gingerbread really.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sesame Lavosh

Lavosh is really handy, fun to make & so yummy & crunchy.
Also keeps really well...silly me, it won't last that long!
This recipe comes via Annabel Langbein.

1 cup plain flour 
1/3 cup wholemeal flour 
2 tbsp each black and white sesame seeds (or 4 tbsp just one kind) 
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried oregano 
1 tsp salt 
1/4 cup olive oil 
1 tsp sesame oil 
1/2 cup water 
To finish:  olive oil and flaky sea salt
Preheat oven to 165C/325F.  

In a mixing bowl stir together the flours, sesame seeds, oregano and salt. Mix the oils and water together and add to the dry ingredients, stirring to form a soft, pliable dough. 

Divide the dough into 4 pieces and roll each out on a lightly floured board as thinly as possible. Each quarter should yield a rectangle of about 34 x 16cm (13 x 6 inches). Cut each rectangle into strips of about 4 x 17cm (1.5 x 6.5 inches) and roll again - they need to be virtually see-through. 

Carefully transfer the strips to a baking tray, brush them lightly with oil and sprinkle lightly with flaky salt. Bake until they are crisp and pale golden, about 15-18 minutes. Allow to cool fully before storing in an airtight container. 
makes approx 40

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