My British Mince Pies. Moje anglické koláčiky ´Mince Pies´.

After a carefull consideration, my boy and I, we decided to spend Christmas together, as a little family of us two. And let me tell you, our first Chritmas was just like a fairytale from winter wonderland. Our own way of embracing Slovak and English traditions, us two sitting at the table where freshly baked loaf of bread and money hidden underneath couldn´t miss. We also put garlic heads, unshelled walnuts and an apple on our Christmas table to make sure we´ll stay healthy all year around. (Just like we do in Slovakia every Christmas).
It was about us only and it was beautiful. We were enjoying our traditional saurkraut soup that we both cooked the night before – it tasted just like if our mothers would have made it – which means that it was totally  delicious! Then, we wouldn´t be able to carry on without  a proper potato salad (with homemade mayonaisse!), without brussels sprouts which are so typical for England; also without a huge piece of cooked ham  for my boy and some nicely smoked salmon for me. We had it all – peace and quiet, Christmas tree that we decorated together with slices of oranges, cinnamon sticks and homebaked gingerbread cookies, candles which were burning slowly as if they knew we didin´t want that night to come to an end.. and then – they were some delicious Christmas truffles and cakes baked for us, and also, proper English Mince Pies, that I made with all my love and with healthy twist of course!
I haven´t met a person, who wouldn´t adore these little treasures, where the most delicious and spicy filling hides under a soft frangipane topping (or under a soft and crumble-y dough in a shape of stars, which make them even more irresistible!!). I´m telling you that these will carry you away..that buttery pastry, which  melts in your mouth and the spicy filling that makes all of your senses to come alive. Try them once and it will become your new tradition to bake them every year from now on. I promise!
They are normally made out of refined white flour which has been ´polished´ of all the good stuff. So I´ve decided to use delicate and nutty spelt flour which has made these little beauties even tastier. Spelt flour is rich in B vitamins, zinc, copper, magnesium, it has got more protein and better nutritional value than refined floursand as a bonus, it makes your sking glow!
Btw, I hope you´re enjoying this holiday season with great company, good drinks and even better food!  Once again, happy holiday and a happy new year! May you be happy and healthy!

Ps. Because we bought ourselves a beatiful little Christmas tree in a pot, we have decided to make it live forever; we will plant it soon. This way, we´ll give thanks to our mother Earth :)
A new year = a new tree. I think it will become our new tradition. Will you join? :-)

My British Mince Pies

Mince meat filling:
3 apples, finely chopped with their skin on
small handful of raisins, chopped if they´re too big
small handful of dried cranberries, chopped if too big
zest of 1 unwaxed orange
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger (you could also use freshly grated ginger-about 1/2 tablespoon)
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
splash of vanilla extract
250 ml liquid (I´ve used 125 ml orange juice and 125 ml  water-you could also use juice only)
2-4 dashes angostura bitters (optional, but super delicious!)
a few tablespoons of brandy to finish it off

Mince Pie pastry*:
100g wholemeal spelt flour
60g white spelt flour (or you could just use wholemeal spelt)
120g good quality butter, cold and cut into chunks
2 tbls unrefined raw sugar or rapadura (I´ve used 1 tsp honey)
small pinch of sea salt
splash of vanilla extract

Mix the flour, sugar(if using) and sea salt together. Add vanilla extract and butter (and honey, if using honey) and rub the butter into the flour using tips of your fingers until crumbles start to form. Mix it all together (don´t over mix it, though), bring it together to form a soft ball, cover it in a clingfilm (I just put it into a ball and cover it with small plate) and leave in the fridge for 1,5 hours. The dough will be sticky, but that´s all right. Don´t be tempted to use more flour, remember that you want the dough to be soft and crumble-y, not hard and dry. If the dough doesn´t want to come together, use additional 1-2 tablespoons of cold water.
Now, make your filling. Put everything except brandy into a stockpan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat down and let simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes, then stir around. Add more liquid if needed and cook for another 15-20 minutes, until it smells amazing. Take off the heat and let cool.

When you´re ready to make the lovely mince pies, turn the oven on to 180°C.
Grease and flour your muffin pan.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a thin layer. Cut out circles with a dough cutter (or a glass as I do) and place them into your prepared muffin tin, making sure it fits in nicely. Put 1 tsp of mince meat into each tart case.
Cover each tart with a little star that you cut out of your leftover dough (or make some frangipane topping).
Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until the filling bubbles and the stars are turning golden.
Let them cool in the tin for a while and then, using sharp knife, remove them carefully onto a baking sheet and let cool completely (or eat stright away!). Store in an air-tight container for up to 1 week. They also freeze brilliantly! :)

Enjoy with a loud ´hmmmmmm´ .

*inspired by Teresa Cutter-thank you!

—–
Anglické koláčiky ´Mince pies´
Po poriadnom zvazeni situacie sme sa tento rok rozhodli s mojim chlapcom ostat v ANglicku a spolocne tu oslavit nase prve spolocne Vianoce. Poviem vam, bolo to ako v tej najkrajsej zimnej rozpravke. Slovenske a Anglicke vianocne tradicie, ktore sme pojali po svojom; posuch cerstvo upeceneho chlebika na nasom stole, pod ktory sme schovali peniaze; a taktiez na stole nesmeli chybat hlavky cesnaku, krasne (nevyluskane) orechy a jablcko; a to vsetko preto, aby sme boli po cely rok zdravi a mali sa dobre.
Tieto Vianoce boli len o nas a bolo to nadherne. Pochutnavali sme si na tradicnej kapustnici, ktoru sme spolocne so smiechom ,zasterami okolo pasa a s maminami na telefone uvarili den pred stedrym dnom-ta kapustnica chutila presne tak, ako by nam ju navarili nase matky-co znamena, ze chutila naozaj uzasne! Vianoce by neboli Vianocami bez poriadneho salatu (ku ktoremu sme si spravili aj paradnu domacu majonezu), bez jemne uvarenych kelovych hlaviciek s maslom, solou a korenim (co je naozaj velmi typicka zelenina pre britov v obdobi zimy-nikdy im nechyba na vianocnom stole spolu s obrovskym moriakom, pecenymi zemiakmi a brusnicovou omackou), bez obrovskej varenej sunky (ktorej sa cele sviatky zmocnuje moj chlapec a vyzera, ze s tym ziadnu pomoc nepotrebuje-sunka mala nieco cez dve kila,ked sme ju kupovali!) a bez krasne udenejryby pre mna.
Mali sme naozaj vsetko, nic nam nechybalo-vsade pokoj a ticho, vianocny stromcek, ktory sme si spolocne ozdobili domacimy medovnickami, ususenymi pomarancovymi kuskami a skoricou, v svietnikoch nam horeli sviecky – pomaly, ako keby vedeli, ze nechceme aby sa ta noc skoncila.. a kedze ku Vianociam patria aj uzasne kolaciky(a kedze sme v Britanii), rozhodla som sa nam na sviatky upiect tieto, ich tradicne, Mince Pies. Upiekla som ich s laskou pre nas a pre vas, a upiekla som ich v zdravsej verzii samozrejme!
Odkedy sme v Anglicku, este som nestretla cloveka, ktory by nemal rad tieto male poklady, v ktorych sa pod mandlovym oblacikom ukryva uzasna korenista napln suseneho ovocia, jablcok a korenin (s troskou brandy). Niektore kolacik som namiesto mandloveho toppingu (frangipane) ozdobila malou hviezdickou – to ich spravilo este krajsimi, chutnejsimi a neodolatelnejsimi. Hovorim vam, tieto male kolaciky stastia si vas dostanu..to jemnucke maslove cesto, ktore sa rozplyva na jazyku a ta korenista napln jablk a ovocia, ktora vonia po Vianociach prebudi vsetky vase zmysly k zivotu. Len raz vyskusate upiect tieto krasne male poklady a stane sa tradiciou, ze ich od teraz budete chciet na vasom vianocnom stole. Slubujem!
Tradicne sa tieto Mince Pie kolaciky pecu z rafinovanej bielej muky. Ja som sa rozhodla dat tomuto receptu zdravy ´twist´ a nahradit tu bielu hnusotu, za krasnu pani muku spaldovu. Splada tymto kolacikom dodala neuveritelnu lahkost a krasnu, jemnu orieskovu chut. Spalda je velmi dobry zdroj vlakniny, vitaminov B, zinku, zeleza, magnezia; obsahuje vacsie mnozstvo proteinov a mineralov ako biela komercna muka a ako bonus – konzumacia spaldy skrasluje nasu kozu! :) A este volaco, nase telo ju vie v pohode a s lahkostou stravit. Takze ziadne naduvanie!
Dufam, ze si uzvate Vianocne sviatky v spolocnosti skvelych ludi, s dobrymi drinkami a este lepsim jedlom! Tak este raz, krasne svitaky! Budte stastni, zdravi a vianocni! :)
Ps: Na Vianoce sme si kupili malicky ihlicnaty stromcek, zivy, ktory sme sa rozhodli naspat zasadit. Novy rok = novy strom. A myslim, ze z toho bude tradicia, ktorou potesime nase matku Zem. Pridate sa? :-)
Moje anglické koláčiky ´Mince Pies´
Ovocná náplň ´mince meat´
3 krasne jablcka, umyte a pokrajane na male kusky (supku dole nedavame)
mala hrst hrozienok, pokrajane na mensie kusky
mala hrst susenych brusnic, pokrajane na mensie kusky
postruhana kora z 1 pomaranca (chemicky neosetreneho)
1 lyzicka mletej skorice
1/2 lyzicky mleteho zazvoru (alebo pouzite cerstvy nastruhany zazvor-1/2 lyzice)
1/3 lyzicky cesrtvo nastruhaneho muskatoveho orieska
splech vanilkoveho extraktu
250ml tekutiny (ja som pouzila 125ml pomarancoveho dzusu a 125ml vody-mozte pouzit iba dzus; najlepsie sa hodi pomarancov a jablkovy, skuste kupit kvalitny 100% dzus, alebo si jablcka/pomarance vydzusujte sami doma:)
2-4 splechy angostury (individualne, ale vynikajuce!)
par splechov brandy na dochutenie
Cesto na Mince Pies*:
100g celozrnnej spaldovej muky
60g jemnej spaldovej muky (alebo pouzite celozrnnu spladovu)
120g poctiveho masla, vychladnuteho a pokrajaneho na kocky
2 lyzice suroveho cukru alebo cukru rapadura (ja som pouzila 1 lyzicku medu)
mala stipka morskej soli
maly splech vanilkoveho extraktu
Zmiesajte spolu muku, cukor (ak pouzivate) a sol. Pridajte vanilkovy extrakt a maslo (a med, ak ho pouzivate) a koncekmi prstov zapracuvavajte do mucnej zmesi maslo. Miesajte rychlo; dovtedy dokym nedostanete z cesta mrvenicku. Vsetko spolu vymieste na cesto (ale zbytocne dlho cesto nemiesajte), vytvarujte z cesta gulu, ktoru zabalte do sacku (alebo dajte do misky a prikryte tanierikom ako to robim ja) a nechajte v chladnicke zhruba 1,5 hodiny. Cesto bude celkom lepkave, ked ho budete miesat, ale v ziadnom pripade nepridavajte viac muky, cesto by po upeceni nebolo krasne, jemne a delikatne ale suche a tvrde. Ak sa cestu neche pospajat sa dokopy, mozte mu pomoct pridanim 1-2 lyzic studenej vody.
Teraz si pripravte napln. Vsetko okrem brandy dajte do hrnca, a privedte k varu. Ked vsetko zacne bublat, znizte ohen, zakryte pokrievkou a poamlicky varte 20 minut. Potom ovocnu zmes pomiesajte, ak treba dolejte viac ovocnej stavy/vody, prikryte a nechajte varte dalsich 15-20 minut, dokym vsetko nevonia uzasne. Odstavte z ohna a nechajte vychladnut.
Ked ste pripraveni na pecenie kolacikov, zapnite ruru na 180°C.
Muffinkovu formu vymazte maslom a jemne vysypte mukou.
Vyberte z chladnicky cesto a na pomucenom povrchu ho velmi jemne vyvalkajte na tenku vrstvu. vykrajujte z cesta kruhy o velkosti takej, aby naplnili mufinkove formy. Do kazdej misticky z cesta dajte 1 lyzicku z vasej ovocnej naplne.
Ak si prajete tak zo zvysneho cesta si povykrajujte hviezdicky, ktorymi prikryjete kolaciky (alebo navrch dajte mandlovy topping frangipane).
Pecte 25-30 minut, alebo pokial napln nebuble a kolaciky nie su krasnej zletj farby.
Po upeceni ich chvilku nehajte vychladnut vo forme. Po chvili ich s pouzitim ostreho nozika jemne vylupnite z foriem a poukladajte na tanier. Podavajte ich priamo teple alebo ich uskladnite v uzatvaratelnej nadobe po dobu 1 tyzdna. Taktiez ich mozete uskladnit aj v mraziaku. :)
Kolaciky si vychutnajte s hlasnym ´hmmmmmm´.
* inspirovane Teresou Cutter – vdaka!
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