Sunday, 18 December 2011

Petticoat Tails

Shortbread biscuits with a sugary top and a buttery flavour, what could be nicer, try them with a warming glass of mulled wine you will be pleasantly surprised.
I use salted butter, which seems to enhance the flavour.

They are very easy to make and keep for about 1 week in an airtight container.


6oz plain flour
3oz semolina
6oz salted butter, softened
3oz golden caster sugar

Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Seive the flour and add to the semolina, gradually add to the creamed butter and sugar until a dough is formed (this can all be done in a food mixer).
Pre-heat the oven to 150C
Roll the dough lightly to form a round to fit a 20cm fluted tin, press into the tin and prick all over with a fork.
Bake for 1 hour until the shortbread is golden brown.
Remove from the oven and cool in the tin. Before the shortbread cools completely mark out wedges with a sharp knife.
Break into wedges and store in an airtight container.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Mincemeat and Cranberry Muffins

This recipe makes 12 huge muffins which I thought would be good for sharing, apparently not!


20 oz plain flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
1 tsp salt
6 oz granulated sugar
3 oz dried or fresh cranberries
3 oz sultanas
2 large eggs
16 oz ready-made mincemeat
480 ml whole milk
6 oz butter, melted

Pre-heat the oven to 180C
Place large muffin cases in a 12 hole muffin tin

Sift together in a large bowl, the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate soda, salt and sugar.

In another bowl mix together the eggs and milk, stir in the mincemeat and butter.

Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients, stir gently to combine (the mixture should be lumpy) finally stir in the cranberries and sultanas.

Spoon the mix into the muffin cases and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 25 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Christmas Chutney

My Christmas chutney (adapted from a Delia Smith recipe) is made and sitting on a shelf waiting for the appearance of the turkey, great cheeses, pies, and cold cuts of meat, and ready to perk up any leftovers.  It makes a great Christmas gift, (if you can bear to part with it.)

This chutney is very easy to make and can be eaten almost right away but will keep for years in a cool dark place and the flavour will develop with time.

I used my food processor to chop the onions and fruits, except the dates they don't chop well in the processor but only take 5 minutes to chop by hand.


For 4 x 350ml jars

570 ml cider vinegar
450 g onions, peeled and chopped
50 g salt
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
2 tsp ground allspice
350 g prunes, no-soak variety, chopped
275 g dried apricots, no-soak variety, chopped
275 g pitted dates, chopped
150 g sultanas or dried cranberries
450 g demerara sugar

Place all the ingredients in a large pan mix well to combine.  Bring to the boil then simmer gently for 1.5 hours, accasionally stirring, until there is no visible liquid when you pull a wooden spoon through the middle.

Pour into warm steralized jars place on a waxed disc and seal with a tightly fitting lid.  Label when cool.

Seafood Paella

Paella is the taste of Summer for me.  As soon as the sun is out so is the paella pan. I cooked this one on the hob, using two burners but i...