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)
- 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.
- 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.
- These would be called ciasteczka belgijskie in Polish
- This is a recipe that was popular in the 19th century in Belgium.
- The mixture of spices is slightly different than in many Polish or English recipes.
- Pre-heat oven to GM3 – 160°C.
- Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
- Chop the almonds into 4 and keep around 36 pieces back for the tops.
- Mix the flour and baking powder together.
- Rub in the butter until you have breadcrumbs.
- Mix the icing sugar and the spices together.
- Mix the sugar mixture into the flour mixture.
- Mix the currants, almonds, peel and lemon zest together.
- Mix the fruits with the other ingredients.
- Add the eggs, mixing until you have a soft dough.
- (You might have to add a dash of milk – depending on the size of the eggs.)
- With floured hands divide the dough into 12 equal parts.
- Form these into balls.
- Space these out on the baking tray and flatten them slightly.
- Brush the tops with the egg wash.
- Put 3 pieces of almonds on the top of each.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden.
- Leave to cool for a while on the tray before putting them on a wire rack.
Vintage cake plate on a chrome foot.
- You might think these are too much trouble compared with making a normal large circular sernik .
- But after making little babeczki, which people liked being able to pick up an individual little cake, I thought I would give them a try.
- They turned out well and very good if you want these for a large number of people.
- The sweet cheese mix does not want to be one that rises too much so I adapted the filling from flat sernik.
- Shortcrust pastry – Kruche ciasto – from 250g plain flour
- This made 24 pastries.
- 200 – 250g yoghurt cheese or cream cheese
- 2 egg yolks
- 50g granulated sugar
- 30g ground almonds
- Fine grated zest of 1 lemon or orange
- 50g mixed chopped peel
- Pre-heat the oven to – GM5
- Butter shallow tart tins.
- Roll out the pastry very thinly.
- Cut out circles to fit and line each tart mould.
- ¾ fill each tart – leaving room for expansion.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes.
- Leave to cool a little before removing them from the tins.
Tea plate by Crown Staffordshire
- Ciasteczka -francuskie – means little French cakes
- This recipe originated in France in the 17th century and they were first called “financiers” and later “friands”.
- They are small cakes baked in oval moulds.
- These moulds are bigger than madeleine moulds.
- These moulds can still be purchased nowadays.
- You could use small tart tins and even small bun cases.
- Friands have become very popular in Australia and New Zealand but it is not known when this started.
- Alpine (wild) strawberries are used in this recipe and as I have lots of these in my garden I thought I would have a go!
- This amount makes 6.
- 70g ground almonds
- 30g plain flour
- Pinch of salt
- 120g icing sugar
- 100g butter
- 3 egg whites
- 80g alpine strawberries
- Icing sugar to dust
- Greased the moulds.
- Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C.
- Mix almonds, flour, salt and sugar.
- Melt butter in a small saucepan and leave to cool.
- Whisk whites till frothy but – not as stiff as for meringues.
- Trickle butter into the dry mix.
- Add ½ the whites and mix lightly.
- Add the rest of of the whites until everything is mixed thoroughly.
- Spoon the mixture into moulds.
- Scatter the alpine strawberries on top.
- Bake for 16-18 minutes.
- Dust with icing sugar before serving.
If you do not have any alpine strawberries use fresh strawberries cut into quarters or slices or use raspberries.