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With the festive season upon us, wintery scents and flavours are finding their way to kitchens and cafes. If you visit our Bistro in December, among all the other treats, you can enjoy a homemade mince pie and a hot cup of spiced apple drink. Our chef has also kindly shared the recipes for these delights so that you can prepare and serve them at home to your loved ones.
225g cold butter, cubed small
350g plain flour
100g golden caster sugar
Pinch of salt
1 small egg
Icing sugar to dust
To make the pastry, rub the butter into the flour, then mix in the golden caster sugar and a pinch of salt.
Combine the pastry into a ball, and knead it briefly. The dough will be firm, a bit like shortbread dough. You can use the dough immediately, or chill for later.
Preheat the oven to 180.
Use a tiny bit of butter to grease your tin. Roll out the pastry. Use about a 10cm cutter to make circles and push into a muffin tin. Once the tin is full put 1½ tbsp mincemeat in each one.
Re-roll the pastry. Use a smaller cutter to make the lid. Brush the edges with a little water to stick the lids down.
Brush each little pie with egg. You can sprinkle extra sugar on top if you like.
Cook for 20 minutes or until golden. Let the pies cool slightly before removing them from the tin.
Spiced Apple drink
1 litre of apple juice
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tablespoons of caster sugar
1 teaspoon of mixed spice
10 whole cloves
1 medium orange
Push the cloves into the orange. Cut the orange in four.
Pour the apple juice into a saucepan and put to a low heat.
Add the sugar, mixed spice, and cinnamon stick to the apple juice.
Add the orange but give each quarter a little squeeze.
Heat the apple till it just boiled and leave for 5 minutes. The drink is ready to be served, or you can cool and reheat it later (this will help increase the flavour).
When serving, be mindful of the bits in the drink – using a sieve is helpful.
If you would like to try some other delightful bakes of the Bistro, or have a tasty lunch, come and visit us! Our Bistro is open every day from 9:00am – 4:00pm.