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Christmas Mince Pies

Traditional sweet mini pies baked and eaten in the festive season before Christmas. Mince pies are made from short crust pastry filled with the sweet mix of dried fruits, spices, citrus zest, all soaked in alcohol. These festive pies of English origin have been known there since the 13th century. They originally were savoury, not sweet as consisted of a mixture of minced meat, suet, fruits and spices. Today almost every housewife has her own recipe for mince pies and mincemeat if she prepares a homemade version of the pies. I prefer less sugary filling but use a bit sweeter French buttery pastry. Try my recipe here…

Home-made Christmas Mincemeat

Mincemeat needs at least two weeks to macerate before using in mince pies. Dried fruits, almonds, spices and orange zest have enough time to soak beautifully in sherry, and their flavours become rich and complex. Although I’m not entirely against store-bought mincemeat as you can buy a very good one, but when is homemade its taste is completely different. Homemade mince meat is easy and quick. Cooking takes only 10 minutes, dried fruits, almonds are available at grocery stores, and you can control the amount of sugar which may be important. The homemade mincemeat can be made up to six months in advance. Find the recipe here….

Smooth Cranberry Sauce

This cranberry sauce is sweet and tart, packed with festive flavours - orange, cinnamon and ginger. It's a perfect condiment or a side dish served with cheese, meat such as chicken, goose, duck. It's also a must to top off Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner. The cranberry sauce is very easy to cook at home and can be made of frozen or fresh fruits however, cranberries are in season so can be easily found at grocery shops at the moment. I prefer my sauce smooth which is actually a cranberry relish. Find the recipe here...