Monday, 21 December 2009
A Sweet Christmas Cracker for Sugar High Fridays!
Many moons ago, at school in Food tech class we made a pastry Christmas tree filled with mincemeat, and many times since I've made this for our Christmas meal dessert. Part nostalgia and also because its an easy, festive pudding that can be assembled from good shop bought ingredients quickly, or if you have the time, from scratch. Its also loved by all, in particular my brother who was most upset that there were no leftovers this year!
This year I was very short on time, so mine was made with some lush all-butter puff pastry from Sainsburys (more than double the price of normal puff but oh so worth it!), plus some suprisingly boozy mincemeat from Lidl's, with an extra scattering of Barbados rum soaked sultanas!
You can shape your dessert as you like, basically roll out two sheets of puff pastry, cut as desired. It helps to cut a template out first. Then fill with mincemeat leaving a 1cm gap round the edges, brush with beaten egg and place over the top layer, press down with your thumbs to seal.
For decoration, I was slightly overjoyed upon finding what I refer to as 'traffic light' glace cherries - red, green and yellow! Sliced up they make an ideal festive decoration. Additionally, I cut a chunky slice from an orange and baked for about 12-15 minutes to dry out, then pressed on to the centre of the cracker. Silver balls are also good for that festive touch. A little sprinkle of hazlenut crackle also adds to the texture and appearance.
Once decorated as desired, brush with beaten egg for a golden finish, bake in a hot oven for around 20 mins or until puffed up and cooked through. Serve with custard or cream. Or both! Ice-cream is also good with this too!
This is also my entry to Sugar High Friday's Holiday edition, this month being hosted by the lovely Nic at Cherrapeno