Mince Pies with Apple Mincemeat

 

I make these with the pastry that I learnt from my mother  – a variation on kruche & półkruche,  pastry (a richer shortcrust pastry).  Using the proportion of 2 parts flour to 1 part butter.

Rather than the classic mincemeat – these were made with Apple mincemeat,  which is lighter and more tart.

Ingredients – Pastry

  • 1500g plain flour
  • 75g butter 
  • 1-2 tablespoons of icing sugar (optional)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Juice of 1 lemon (and maybe 1 tablespoon of cold water)
  • *
  • Glaze
  • Lightly beaten egg white
  • Caster sugar

Method for pastry

  • Rub the butter into the flour to make “breadcrumbs”.
  • Mix in the icing sugar.
  • First with a knife and then with your fingertips mix in the yolk & lemon juice (and  maybe a tablespoon of cold water.)
  • You are aiming to get a dough which is not wet.
  • Rest for about 20 minutes.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM6 – 200°C
  • You need to grease the tins well in order to get the pies out successfully.
  • 2 sizes of cutters are needed – 1 – 7cm diameter, plain, for the base, 1 – 6cm diameter, crinkle edge for the top.

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  • My tins are anodised aluminium and have a gentle rounded shape, this I think make for the perfect balance between the pastry and the filling.
  • I put “tops” on my mince pies – but not fully covered ones.
  • *
  • The tops are brushed with beaten egg white and sprinkled with caster sugar.
  • Cut out the bases and place them in the tins.
  • *
  • Place around a tablespoonful of apple mincemeat on the pastry.
  • Place the smaller tops on.
  • Lightly beat the egg white and brush this on the tops
  • Sprinkle caster sugar over the egg white.
  • Bake for around 15 minutes – keeping an eye on them – so they do not burn.
  • Leave to cool slightly in the tins & carefully remove them onto a rack to fully cool.

Apple Mincemeat

  • This is a fresher tasting mincemeat than the classic English version.
  • It does not contain any fats.
  • Similar to Cranberry mincemeat – see previous post.
  • It will keep if kept in the fridge for up to a month.
  • Best to use this up quickly.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 large Bramley apples – peeled, cored and chopped.
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 2 oranges zest & juice or 3 large satsumas
  • 150g currants
  • 150g raisins
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 125ml sherry

METHOD

  • Have prepared 3- 4 sterilised jar jars.
  • Put the apples, sugar, zest and juice into a saucepan and heat till the fruit starts to soften.
  • Add the dried fruit and spices and continue heating and stirring for around 5 minutes.
  • Add the sherry and continue heating and stirring for another 5-10 minutes until you have a thick liquid free mixture.
  • Leave to go cold and pot up into cold sterilised jars.
  • Keep in the fridge and use within a month.

Easy Apple Cake

  • I have had a huge harvest of Bramley apples this year, so am always looking for different recipes from my standard favourite one.
  • This is based on an American idea with just a free form base and slightly raised sides.
  • It has been adapted to make a it more like a Polish apple cake  –  jabłecznik.
  • I have tried it several times and two secrets are:
  • 1) NOT have too much pastry and
  • 2) NOT to have loads of filling.
  • The pastry should be rolled out until it is thin.

Ingredients – pastry

  • 200g flour
  • 100g butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • *
  • 1 egg yolk – use it all – for sealing
  • *
  • 1 egg white – beaten
  • 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar

Ingredients – filling

  • 2 large Bramley apples
  • 75g raisins or sultanas
  • 75g granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mixed spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • *
  • Icing sugar to dust – optional

Method – filling

  • Peel and core the apples and chop them into small pieces.
  • Add the raisins, sugar and spices.
  • Mix together and leave to one side.

Method – pastry

  • Rub the butter into the flour until like breadcrumbs.
  • Add the egg yolk and lemon juice and mix to a soft dough.
  • Add more water sparingly if necessary.
  • *
  • Wrap in plastic and leave in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • *
  • Butter / Grease a large baking sheet.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM6 – 200°C.
  • *
  • Roll out the pastry thinly until you have a rough circle around 25cm.
  • Place the pastry onto the sheet.
  • Brush the egg yolk over a circle round 25cm in diameter.
  • Pile up the filling onto the circle.
  • Bring up the sides of the pastry.
  • Brush the sides with the egg white.
  • Sprinkle on the tablespoon of granulated sugar.
  • *
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes until the pastry is golden.
  • Leave to cool on a wire rack.
  • *
  • Sprinkle with icing sugar before serving.

Liver & Apples

  • As you might know from previous posts – I love liver.
  • I used lambs liver – but use pork or beef if that is want you have or like.
  • In Poland calf’s liver is thought to be the best.
  • I saw this combination ages ago and have only just had time to make it – it is super.
  • Use two frying pans to make this – it is easier.

INGREDIENTS

  • Around 100g liver per person
  • 2  apples
  • 2 small onions
  • Butter & sunflower oil  for frying

METHOD 

  • Best to make this using 2 frying pans.
  • Slice the liver thinly.
  • Cut the onions in half and slice thinly.
  • Core the apple and cut into thick slices – keep the skin on in parts of it  – remove any blemishes 
  • Fry the onions gently in the butter and oil mixture.
  • Add the apple pieces and heat these with the onions until they are soft.
  • Keep this warm whilst you cook the liver.
  • Fry the liver in another pan – to the degree of cooking you like (I like it slightly pink).
  • Serve the liver and the onion and apple mix together.
  • This apple and onion mixture was so delicious I will be using this again with pork chops or pork loin.
  • Served on oval plates – Johnstons Snowflake.

Fresh Cabbage & Apples

  • I came across a Polish idea to cook white cabbage with apples.
  • The writer did not give a method nor did they say whether they made it sweet or tart.
  • I went for a slightly sweet version and I thought the result was delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1 sweetheart cabbage or a small white cabbage
  • 2 large Bramley apples
  • 500ml water
  • 2-3 tablespoons of granulated sugar

Method

  • Preheat the oven to GM 3 – 160°C.
  • Use a large oven proof dish with a lid.
  • Chop the cabbage into rough squares.
  • Peel and core the apples and chop these into chunks.
  • Mix the cabbage, apples and sugar together and put in the dish.
  • Add the water.
  • Cook for around 1 hour.
  • Keep an eye on this about half way through as the apples can fluff up and escape from the dish.
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  • Serve with roast chicken, duck or pork.
  • *
  • You can add part of the sugar and add the rest to taste at the end.

  • Served in Bavarian china with a forget me knots pattern

Apple Sauce

  • This sauce is super just eaten on its own or can be eaten with vanilla sauce.
  • Both these should be chilled.
  • You can also serve it with fresh fruit salad.

Ingredients

  • 2 large Bramley apples
  • ½ – 1 tablespoon of potato flour
  • 50g granulated sugar
  • Grated rind of 1 lemon

Method

  • Peel and core the apples.
  • Cut them into small pieces.
  • Cover them with water and cook till soft.
  • Use a stick blender to purée them.
  • Add the sugar and lemon rind.
  • Mix the potato flour with a little water.
  • Add this to the apple mixture.
  • Heat gently stirring all the time until thickened.
  • Pour into a bowl or individual dishes.
  • Chill for a couple of hours.

Apple Pancakes 2

  • Looking through one of my Polish cookery books, I came across this recipe for a batter for racuszki with apples.
  • These are more like American style pancakes and I would call them apple fritters in England.
  • The original recipe used soured milk , so I used thick full fat Greek style yoghurt thinned down with water.
  • The original recipe used sweet eating apples but my Bramley apples are now ripe and I used one of these.
  • They were delicious and this will be my batter of choice from now on.

Ingredients

  • 1 Bramley apple or 2 eating apples
  • 1 egg
  • 100g plain flour
  • 125 ml thick full fat Greek style yoghurt
  • 60 ml of water (you might need a little more)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • *
  • Sunflower oil to fry in
  • *
  • Icing sugar to dust.

Method

  • Mix the egg, yoghurt, water, flour and baking powder together.
  • You are aiming for a smooth, thick batter.
  • You may need to add a little more water.
  • Cover and leave to rest for 1 hour.
  • *
  • Peel and core the apple.
  • Cut into thin slices.
  • Put the apple slices into the batter and coat all the sides.
  • *
  • Fry the fritters in hot oil.
  • Turn them over to do both sides.
  • Take them out and put onto kitchen roll.
  • *
  • Keep them warm in a low oven whilst cooking the rest.
  • *
  • Dust with icing sugar to serve.

Yeast Placek with Apples

  • I had been making several recipes with plums and wanted to make a placek – flat cake – with a plum topping.
  • However I ran out of plums whilst making other recipes, so decided to try this with apples instead.
  • My Bramley apples are not yet ripe so I used eating apples instead.
  • I might have to amended the recipe slightly if using cooking apples. 
  • Yesterday I bought some more plums so will try this out next.
  • The yeast pastry is the same as used earlier for my  drożdżówki – sweet yeast buns with rhubarb and with whinberries.

Ingredients 

  • 200g & 50g plain flour
  • 150 ml warm milk
  • 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar
  • ½ tablespoon of dried yeast
  • *
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • 60g granulated sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • *
  • 3 or 4 eating apples
  • 1-2 tablespoons of sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • *
  • Icing sugar to dust

Method 

  • Mix the milk, yeast, 1 teaspoon of sugar and 50g of plain flour.
  • Leave for 20 minutes.
  • Put the 200g of plain flour, 60g of sugar, salt, yolks and yeast mixture in a bowl.
  • Mix together to form a soft dough.
  • Add a little extra milk if this is too dry.
  • Knead for 10 minutes – set a timer – till you get a smooth ball.
  • Cover and leave for 1½ – 2 hours.
  • *
  • Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  • *
  • Peel and core the apples.
  • Cut them into thin slices.
  • Mix them with the sugar and cinnamon.
  • *
  • Lightly mix the dough back into a ball.
  • Roll out and stretch the dough to fit the baking tray.
  • Place the apples and sugar mix on top.
  • Cover and leave for 30 minutes.
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  • Pre-heat the oven  to GM5- 200°C.
  • Bake for 20 -25 minutes.
  • Leave to cool on a wire rack.
  • Dust with icing sugar to serve.

Another Celery Salad

  • I was making a quick lunch with some Polish smoked mackerel and wanted to make a couple of salads to go with it. 
  • I had some celery stems and though I would make my easy celery & peanut salad with sultanas.  This is in an earlier post Seler – Celeriac – Celery
  • I suddenly realised that I did not have any salted peanuts so decided to improve and use an apple with the celery, which are two of the ingredients of Waldorf Salad.
  • It turned out very well and will be going on my list of easy standby salads.

Ingredients

  • 4- 5 celery stems
  • 80g of sultanas
  • 1 large eating apple eg Pink Lady
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise 

Method

  • Trim the celery stems and cut into fine slices.
  • Core the apple and cut into small pieces.
  • Mix the celery, apples and sultanas together.
  • Pour the lemon juice over the mixture.
  • Add mayonnaise mix well together.

Beetroot & Apple Salad

  • Yesterday one of my friends came round with freshly picked beetroots from her allotment.
  • I quickly boiled these and used some of them to make a very simple salad.

Ingredients

  • 3 boiled beetroots
  • 3 eating apples such as Braeburn
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt & Pepper

Method

  • Grate the beetroots using a coarse grater.
  • Peel and core the apples.
  • Grate the apples using a coarse grater.
  • Mix the beetroots and apples together.
  • Pour the lemon juice over them and mix together.
  • Season to taste

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