So at last, we are one month away from my most favourite day of the year, and no I don’t mean the boxing day sales. So let’s take stock of how I’m travelling….
Tree is up? Check. (Despite partners best arguments that trees should not be seen before the 1st of December)
Advent Calendar complete with Lenny the Christmas prawn in place? Check. (Yay Lenny!)
Some green stuff and jingly bell thingy added to bowl of candles to suggest a Christmassy feel? Check.
Presents already bought and wrapped? Check. (WTF I hear you say – Don’t hate me for my ruthless efficiency!)
Enthusiasm to sustain me through the madness that is December? All out.
What can I say, I’m just not feeling it this year. Normally I’m more excited than a 5 year old, I love the lights, the decorations, giving great presents to people. For the first time ever it felt a bit old and tired. A bit wearisome. Putting up the same tree year after year, put up the fairy lights, do the rounds of inevitable Christmas gatherings. Be amazed that another year has gone by so fast and yet again I did not achieve all those things I hoped I would do.
Because those years they really are flying now. Perhaps I’m just very tired at the moment and not in my right mind. The kids and I have already established that I am super grumpy this week. Add to that a week of heat and humidity and I think I’m fried. I’m not really ready for the start of the end of the year festivities.
But there is one item that is not ticked off the check list yet. And it is the one item that may just bring me back from the brink of despair. It is something that I make only in December. It is…..
…the almighty fruit mince pie! And I’m not talking about those awful cardboard store bought ones, I mean the ones you bake yourself, because they’re awesome. And now you too can make them, because I am going to write out here for you a recipe handed down to me from a master baker (family friend) many years ago.
So get up and go make some. Your tree may be still in the attic, presents at the store, but dang it you’ll have pies, and when you have pies, you’ll also have a smile on your face and Christmas in your heart.
(Wow, really went a bit soppy there at the end didn’t I)
- 1/3 cup icing sugar
- 2 cups plain flour
- 225g butter
- 1 jar of Robertsons fruit mince (or if you're keen see the notes for how to make your own home made fruit mince)
Set your oven to 180 degrees Celsius, then grease 2 tart pans with butter.
Knead the icing sugar, butter and flour together to make a dough. (Or throw it in a mixer like I do)
Now what I do next is roll out the dough and cut 20 star shapes that will go on top of the tart. Then with the remainder of the dough, I divide it out and roll up 20 balls that will get pushed into the bottom of the tin as the base of the tart. Once the bottom of the tarts are all in the tin, spoon generous amounts of fruit mince into the tart, then top with a pastry star.
Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. (I err on 20 more than 15). When they come out it is best to leave them for a while to cool. There is so much butter in this pastry that it is a bit crumbly, they'll crumble less when they're cool. To get them out of the tin, I gently press on one side of the tart and they usually just pop out the other side.
Now, make a cup of tea, sit back and eat one off these bad boys and wonder why on earth you ever thought the store bought variety was any good 🙂
Home Made Fruit Mince - actually really easy... Take all of the following ingredients, chuck them into a saucepan and cook on low heat for 8-10 minutes until liquid is absorbed. Let cool before using. 1 green apple, peeled and grated, 3/4 cup craisins, 1/2 cup currants, 3/4 cup raisins, 1/2 cup brandy, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 60 g butter