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!
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.