What’s for Christmas lunch?

25 Dec

I know it is still not Christmas yet in some parts of the world, but here in NZ it is almost the end of Christmas! We had a big Christmas lunch with my brother-in-law and his family, I am still feeling full right now.

Every year I make something sweet as a part of Christmas gift to my brother-in-law. I made some cupcakes two years ago and made some cookies last year. This year I decided to make something traditional – mince pies. I was inspired by Anna Olson’s mincemeat pie, but I made some mini pies instead. To take a shortcut I used store-bought mixed fruit mince (including raisins, currents and cherries) but add some grated apple, citrus zest and spice. Also because the mixed fruit mince have been sweetened already, so I added less sugar in the filling. They came out just the right amount of sweetness. The pastry was flaky and tasty. I couldn’t help eating one when they came out from the oven 🙂

For the kids I made some cake pops. It was my fist time to make cake pops – not as easy as I thought. The balls were not  smooth as I didn’t crumble the cake into small enough pieces. You can find lots of tutorials on YouTube. Anyway my nieces-in-law and nephew-in-law loved them, haha!

To answer the question in the title, we had ham, turkey, prawn, avocado & grapefruit salad, beetroot salad, pea salad, chicken, mango & spinach salad, trifle, Christmas cake, mango & ricotta semifreddo and my mince pies!

Christmas to me is about gathering together with food and joy. Merry Christmas to everyone!

Mince pies (makes 12 mini pies)

Pie dough

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tspsalt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup cool unsalted butter, cut into pieces (does not have to be ice cold)
¼ cup cool water
2 tsps lemon juice

Mince filling

400g mixed fruit mince
1 granny smith apple, peeled and coarsely grated
¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
⅓ cup honey
1 tsp finely grated orange zest
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
2½ Tbsps lemon juice
½ tsp ground allspice
½ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground clove
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
Icing sugar for dusting (optional)

Pie dough

  1. Combine the flour, sugar and salt together. Add the oil to coat the flour and mix until the flour looks evenly crumbly in texture.
  2. Add the butter, use a pastry cutter, electric beaters or a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cut in until rough and crumbly but small pieces of butter are still visible. Stir the water and lemon juice together and add all at once to the flour mixture, mixing just until the dough comes together. Shape the dough into 2 disks, wrap and chill until firm, at least an hour.

Mince filling

  1.  Toss the grated apple, mixed fruit mince with the brown sugar, honey, lemon juice, orange and lemon zest and spices. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours, up to 24 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200C. Pull out the dough from the fridge 15-30 minutes before rolling. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough just less than ¼-inch thick. Grease a 12-hole muffin tin and cut the pastry to fit each hole.
  3. Stir the melted butter into the mince filling and spoon this into the each muffin hole, spreading to level it. Use a cookie cutter to cut out 12 star shapes. Arrange the cut-outs over the mince filling.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes at 200C, then reduce the oven temperature to 175 F and then bake for about another 20 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Cool the pie for at least 2 hours before dusting.

Note: after I made the pies I read an article about mince pies. It said brandy or rum adds flavors to the mince pies. I don’t have brandy but I should have added some rum instead!

Mince pies

Mince pies

My first cake pops

My first cake pops

Cake pops in bags

Cake pops in bags

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2 Responses to “What’s for Christmas lunch?”

  1. Donna Tapia 26/12/2013 at 12:08 am #

    Looks good!

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