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Le Mas de Jouas, 12200 St Remy, Aveyron, Midi-Pyrenees, France  |  0033642522521 I Siret 4899237300019

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Christmas Nibbles


Veggie Non-Sausage Rolls and Frangipane Mince Pies

Still loads of time to get those last minute Christmas favourites done and with the kids off school this weekend you'll have plenty of little hands to help too! Christmas baking is my girls favourite part on the run up to Christmas, albeit the present wrapping, decorating etc! The smell of spices through the house makes the whole atmosphere so magical! Stick those Christmas tunes on full wack, pop on a Santa hat and make it proper family time!

I try and leave these 2 recipes as close to the festive weekend as possible as otherwise they are demolished in a day and I have to remake a load, which means I get less fun time and less wine!

First up are my Veggie Non-Sausage rolls

(I made about 40 rolls with this recipe as I used a pack and a half of the ready rolled pasty)

My oldest is a pescatarian; she can't stand meat of any kind so sausage rolls are out of the question! I suggested a squash sage and chestnut filling, or a cheesy filling (both great in my mind) but after finding a maggot in her chestnut last year in a fancy restaurant, she is completely put off chestnuts so she asked if I could base the filling on the Mexican style veggie burgers I make her, something with a bit of spice: so this is what I came up with! It is so easy honestly! I use garlic powder as it distributes easier than fresh garlic, and isn't overpowering, you are only having a mouthful so if there is a chunk of garlic inside you'll be breathing it over your friends and family, which isn't pleasant for them!

Feel free to change this recipe for white beans if you prefer, and go Italian for example but adding finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes, olives and fresh basil with a bit of grated lemon rind and garlic powder. Or try adding tiny pieces of mozzarella, torn fresh basil and finely chopped red chilli into the white beans with a good squeeze of lemon and grind of pepper.

You will need:

A greased, lined baking tray (grease under and on top of the lining paper if you are not using silicon as it sits better in the tin)

Pastry brush and a knife

Cooling rack

Ingredients:

A pack of puff pastry or ready rolled x 2.

1 egg

1 large tin of red kidney beans (800g) drained and rinsed and drained well again.

1 tsp of oregano

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp sweet paprika

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp hot chilli powder (or to taste)

Salt and pepper to season

What to do:

Pre heat your oven to 200-220°C if a fan oven, I like it to be quite hot for the puff to get nice and crispy!

In a bowl crush the beans with the back of a fork, they need to be a bit mushy but the beans still visible to give texture. Add all the spices and seasoning and mix them in well.

Roll out or lay out your pastry into a thin (3 mm max) rectangle and slice lengthways into 3 strips.

Using clean hands or a fork pop the bean mix along the length of the pastry strips.

IMPORTANT: don't put too much, leave a good border on either side of the mix so they can be easily joined together.

TOP TIP: Keep the pastry flat and take both borders in your fingers and pinch on top of the mix, I usually have slightly damp fingers for this as it also helps the join. Then just push with the back of your finger along the join to make an edge.

Now lay the sealed roll with the seal facing you and with a fork go along the join to seal it further and give a nice finish. TOP TIP: Don't use a knife to cut your individual rolls! Use scissors, this stops the filling coming out and is so much quicker, and neater! I tend to get 8-10 rolls per strip.

Score a tiny slit in the top of each roll.

Pop on the baking sheet.then egg wash and pop in the oven until risen and golden, about 12-15 mins depending on your oven!

Pop on a cooling rack to cool so they don't get soggy bottoms then either eat or store in an airtight container in the fridge for few days or even better freeze and reheat as you need them in the oven! ENJOY!! Let me know your recipe changes and pics!!

Next up Frangipane Mince Pies

I have been making these and sharing this recipe for years! It is originally from Nigella so nothing new, but I adapted it to make mini mince pies as they have always gone down well with the kids when they were little as easier to eat! This recipe makes about 24/26 large pies, however I always have frangipane left over so make another batch of pastry and keep going until it is finished! If there is pasty left over just make a lid out of the pastry, egg wash with a sprinkling of sugar, or make stars to go on top instead! I made my mincemeat last year, I always make it a year in advance in a kilner jar and top it up with a splash of sherry, whiskey or rum, whatever is running out in the cupboard! My oldest has a real problem with alcohol so for her I have to use a standard jar of mincemeat (boring ;o) )! Also if you have someone who hates almonds, just replace with ground hazelnuts.

You will need:

A pie tin (feel free to use minis if you want! same principle applies!)

Fluted pastry cutters, a bit bigger than the size of the tin holes,

Pastry brush

Cooling rack

Ingredients:

1 jar of mincemeat

Stunning light Almond pastry

175g Plain Flour

30g Ground Almonds

65 g Icing Sugar

Pinch of Salt

125g Unsalted butter, cold

2 Egg yolks beaten with 1tbsp very cold water

Frangipane filling

2 Eggs

90g Golden caster sugar (or just any fine sugar you have in the cupboard)

100g Unsalted butter, melted

90g Ground Almonds

Flaked almonds to decorate

What to do:

Preheat oven to 200° C

The pasty is so simple, whiz up all the dry ingredients together in your food processor, then dice the butter and whizz again, it is almost crumb like now. Drizzle the egg mix through the funnel and pulse at the same time until the mix just starts to come together around the blade, this keeps it nice and short!

Lay out 2 sheets of cling film side by side, roll the dough into a ball, pop into the centre of the film, pop two more sheets on top then push down with the palm of your hands to make it quite flat then pop in the fridge for a min of 30 minutes. You could also make 2 balls using 2 sheets per ball.

Get the kids to break the eggs into a bowl and add the sugar, and get them to beat with a fork or whisk until they are nicely together. Whilst beating gradually pour in 90g of the melted butter until combined, then mix in the ground almonds. This can be kept covered in the fridge until you are ready!

Lightly grease the tins with the left over melted butter.

Roll out the pastry between the cling film or on a floured surface so it is nice and thin (2mmish)

Pop each disk into a hole in the tin, it is good practice to put the whole tin in the fridge for about 15 mins

Once ready, pop in a scant teaspoon of mincemeat, top with a teaspoon of frangipane (it will spread) and the a couple of flaked almonds.

Bake for about 15minutes until they are lovely and golden!

Cool for a few minutes in the tins before transferring to the cooling rack.

Store in an airtight container, they can also be frozen and reheated, I often don't completely cook them if doing this as in the picture!

Keep repeating until you have run out of pastry and/or filling! Enjoy!!

Merry Christmas!!

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