Tag Archives: christmas baking

Christmas Gingerbread

Gingerbread House

I do love Christmas traditions.  I am also partial to a bit of kitsch and childish glee. Ticking all those boxes is the gingerbread house and gingerbread cookies for the tree I made this week.  The rustic charm of the house is due in no small part to a few subsidence problems due to my royal icing not setting quickly enough and my gingerbread being a bit wonky – but hey, curlywurlys came into their own as a roof ridge and hiding the gap where the top of the roof didn’t meet properly and jam jars make wonderful scaffolding till all is firm enough to hold its own. Start another Christmas tradition by having a mulled wine whilst you wait then your gingerbread roof will all seem a lot straighter!  Continue reading

Mince Pies with Orange Pastry

My husband takes the tradition of eating 12 mince pies between Christmas and New Year very seriously.  This apparently ensures a full twelve months of happiness in the year ahead.  In fact my husband likes to have a few more under his belt (so to speak) just to be sure – and then, of course, he needs to practise getting up to full mince pie eating capacity so he likes to have a few in the run up to Christmas   Basically he loves mincepies!

With all this demand, I always like to have a stash of mince pies in the freezer so I don’t have to be rolling out pastry all the time.  I freeze them raw in the trays and – once they are frozen – pop them out and store them in freezer bags.  That way when I want them I just return them to the patty tray and cook them from frozen for 20 mins at 175c. Really easy for when guests drop in, or you just feel a bit peckish but don’t want to put in much last minute effort, or even (heaven forbid) when you realise Oct-Dec next year are not going to be good months unless you eat three more mincepies on New Years Eve.

My favourite pastry for the mince pies is a very buttery shortcrust flavoured with orange zest and bound together with the juice   It’s absolutely amazing if I say so myself – and the smell when they come out the oven …… yum. It’s  made in the food processor so it’s ridiculously easy to do.  Just remember because the pastry is so crumbly and butter rich to leave the cooked mince pies in the tins for 5 mins after cooking before taking them out and putting on a rack to cool  or they will fall apart Continue reading