Sunday, December 19, 2010

Me and Lois - Only in New Zealand

It has been crazy at my place recently as I am sure it is for most people at this time of year.

This morning I have been baking my Christmas Mince Pies and using the recipe by Lois Daish (a food writer) that appeared in The Listener several years ago.  I always use this recipe and every time I do it makes me smile because behind it is a story that I think might only happen in New Zealand. 

It was Christmas Eve in 2004 and I had been hanging onto The Listener magazine ready to follow the recipe that I saw for Christmas Mince Pies, but when I came to use the recipe - could I find the magazine? - NO!  Mr S had been busy tidying up and had put it out for recycling that day and it was gone. 

Not to be put off I turned to the internet to see whether they had the recipe on-line.  NO.  But there was the number for the Listener in Auckland, so not caring about the toll call, I rang. I wanted to make those Christmas Mince Pies.

NO, says the Listener they cannot give me the recipe, but would I like to ring Lois and ask for it?  WOW, you mean I can ring Lois?  So I rang Lois at home and spoke to her very understanding husband who without any fuss gave me the recipe I was after.  Only in New Zealand!  I wonder whether they would do it today?

The recipe is yummy - but beware do grease your patty pans!

Almond Pastry
 250g standard flour
50g almonds (I use 70 g as that is the size of the packet and I cannot bear the waste)
100g icing sugar
190g hard butter
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp very cold water (don't let your husband near it because mine tips it out when he is tidying up!)

Put the flour, ground almonds and icing sugar in a processor bowl.  Cut the butter into dice and add.  Pulse the processor until the mixture has an even crumb like texture.  Combine the yolk and water in a cup and add to the processor.  Pulse until the mixture starts to clump into larger crumbs.  Stop the machine, lift the lid and press a few of the crumbs together between thumb and forefinger.  If they do not readily hold togetehr, add a few more drops of cold water and pulse again.  Top the mixture into a bowl and press together with your hands.  Wrap in a plastic wrap and put in a cool place for 20 minutes before rolling out.

Makes about 24 small mince pies (I use mini muffin tins and I get about 36)

Lois also gives a recipe for the Christmas Mince which I must admit I do not use any more, being a last minute person I buy some good pre-made Christmas mince and use that instead.

I use mini muffin tins and bake the pies at about 190 degrees celsius in a fan forced oven for about 10 minutes. 

Also because my children do not like dried fruit I usually make some raspberry jam pies as well - just use raspberry jam instead of Christmas Mince.

Happy Baking


clare's craftroom said...

Wow what a lovely story ! The pies look good too !

Lesley said...

That's a great story - only in NZ... I bet if you asked around, you'd find someone who actually knows Lois - 6 degrees and all that!

WandaFish said...

I loved the story, and my mouth's watering at the thought of scrummy mince pies - but, but I've GOT to have Lois' mincemeat recipe to go with the pastry!! Can I call ya please? ;)

Angie from England xx

glitz said...

Hahaha...well, actually, Lois is a friend of my friend Helen's.....