Merry Christmas and Seasons Greetings to everyone!
I hope you have had a wonderful season cooking and baking your Christmas favourites, as well as being inspired by some new recipes.
More importantly, I hope you are all enjoying this Christmas season in the company of good friends and family. Thank you so much for being a visitor to eat, little bird. This blog was started after several years of procrastination and perhaps intimidation by some amazing food blogs out there, but I am so happy to have bitten the bullet and to have met such wonderful foodie friends from all over the world. Thank you again for your company
I know I have previously mentioned that I am not a great fan of fruit mince. That still remains the case, but I cannot conceive a Christmas without fruit mince pies. I try to resolve this conundrum by either making fruit mince pies with really thick pastry and minimal filling, or just really, really tiny fruit mince pies. For the latter, I like to resort to Nigella’s tried and trusted recipe for Star-Topped Minced Pies from How to Be a Domestic Goddess.
This year, I tried my hand at making the Cranberry-Studded Fruit Mince from Nigella Christmas. The cranberry fruit mince itself is quite quick and easy to make, provided that you have easy access to fresh or frozen cranberries where you live. The recipe starts by dissolving some sugar into some port, which instantly provokes the scent and aroma of mulled wine, something which I love and is indeed very Christmassy for me. There is no getting around the dried raisins and currants which are essential to fruit mince, but the cranberries provide a nice tart flavour to remind you that it is not all dried fruit. Though, the cranberries which I used were a bit too tart and I found that I had to add more honey than specified in the recipe to sweeten the mixture; in hindsight, I probably should have just added a tablespoon or two of caster sugar. Overall, the cranberry fruit mince is quite nice, but one which hasn’t quite converted me.
The pastry is something which I use every year for my fruit mince pies. It is easy to make and easy to work with. The pastry should ideally be kept cold before rolling out, otherwise it will shrink considerably upon baking.
I use a small tart tin which produces wee small fruit mince pies which are perfect for eating with one bite. They are perhaps a bit more fiddly to make but I find the pastry to fruit mince ratio perfect
Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season with lots of love, joy and good food!