I put easy in quote marks up there because I believe it’s what you’re supposed to do when writing recipes – anything that you use pre-made things for is called ‘easy’. It drives me crazy. It’s not easy – it usually requires a trip to the supermarket. Because that annoys me so much, I’m going to track down some recipes for the things that are pre-made.
I found a great website, actually, that gives recipes for both short pastry and fruit mince. Success! Recipes and links will be included at the bottom.
You ready for this?
Cut out 65mm round shapes from a rolled block of sweet short pastry. Put them into mini-muffin cups. There is a certain degree of care needed here as the pastry is delicate and can tear.
Then, put about a half teaspoon of fruit mince in each one. I know this doesn’t seem like much, but the mixture expands to almost double. Be wary of putting in too much. As this batch reminded me, too much mixture results in overflowing, stars sinking, and tears. Well … maybe not the tears.
Cut out little star shapes if you’ve got such a cookie cutter and stick those on top.
Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 10-15 minutes – mine definitely leaned to the 15 minute end of that – and let cool for 2-3 minutes before removing from the muffin pan.
DO NOT LET THEM COOL IN THE MUFFIN PAN! You will never get them out whole if you do this.
Dust with icing sugar. They keep really well for several weeks.
Fruit mince (note that this recipe is amazing for not having suet in it – I made fruit mince with suet once and the experience was so disgusting I simply couldn’t eat it, though everyone said it was lovely):
1.5 cups chopped raisins
1 cup chopped sultanas
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
2T chopped glace cherries
2T chopped almonds [I would toast these but that’s just me]
1/2 cup mixed glazed peel
1/3 cup currants
1 apple, peeled and grated
1tsp grated lemon rind
1tsp grated orange rind
1T lemon juice
1 cup brown sugar
1tsp mixed spice
1/4 cup brandy
60g melted butter
Combine all of the ingredients and stir well. [At this point I would also heat them up pretty well on the stove, while stirring, to get that sugar all melted in and the liquid thickening up into a sauce.] Then pour into jars and seal [perhaps use a canning method? I must try this recipe myself].
Sweet short pastry
1 cup flour
1T caster sugar
Process the flour, butter, sugar, cornflour in a whizz until it’s crumbly. Add the egg and process for another 20 seconds or so. If you need to, add a little bit of water until the mixture comes together. Turn out and knead until smooth, then cover with gladwrap and put in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
Both these recipes came from rainbowcooking.co.nz, a site that makes me really want to try South African recipes!