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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Another Year Over, A new Year about to Begin....

Well, I can't believe we are at New Years Eve already! Christmas came and went as quick as a flash, as it always does.

I've been busy but I'm now enjoying a nice long holiday from work and look forward to getting stuck into some knitting and spinning. I had a lovely Christmas ~ lovely weather, great food and most importantly having time with my family, all together.

Today has been about baking, do you remember the home made fruit mince I made a few weeks ago? I never got time to make any mince pies before Christmas but here's what I did today, in pictures:

You will need:
1 packet filo pastry
1 packet/sheet of ready made puff pastry
fruit mince/mincemeat
50g melted butter

Roll out a sheet of puff pastry to 20 x 36-ish cm. I used a ready rolled sheet. Spread thinly with mincemeat but leave a good border around all 4 edges. A little tip: if you leave the ready rolled pastry on the sheet of cellophane it comes in it makes rolling this up much easier!

Roll up tightly, as if you were making a Swiss Roll then pop in the fridge.

When working with filo pastry -  take off the sheets you need and cover the rest with a damp tea towel or it will dry out extremely quickly!

Take 4 sheets of Filo pastry and brush 2 with melted butter, lay the unbuttered ones on top. Brush the top of one of the paired sheets with butter and lay the other pair on top so you have 4 layers. Lay it on top of a 12 hole muffin tin and gently scrunch the pastry into the cups, it will look like a pile of crumpled bed sheets but thats good. The sheets filled 6 cups so you will need to do 4 more sheets to fill the other side of the tin, depending on the size of your tins of course. Repeat this process with a second tin as this makes 24 pies.

Take the puff pastry roll from the fridge and slice it carefully, my slices were approx 1.5 cm wide.

You will need 24 slices in total.

Push a slice into each filo lined cup of the muffin tin. Bake at 200 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Let the tray cool for 10 minutes, then invert it onto a cooling rack, quickly invert it onto a second cooling rack so they are the right way up. Let them cool, then just break them apart. Easy peasy.

Sprinkle with snow and enjoy!

If you want to use up the rest of the pack of filo pastry you could make an apple strudel:

Brush the left over filo sheets with melted butter as before, layering as you go.
I used 5 granny smiths apples, peeled, cored and sliced thinly on a mandolin for the filling. Mix in 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Pile it into the middle of the pastry and fold the pastry in neatly, brushing the edges and joins with melted butter to seal it. Bake at 200 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Here's the Yule Log I made for Christmas Day:

That's enough of the baking, now onto craft related goodies I received at Christmas:

I love this bag, it can hold heaps of stuff.

A proper set of crochet hooks, no excuse not to learn now.

On Christmas Eve my Colour Swap Holiday package arrived. Lovely mittens and a wool & silk blend yarn along with other goodies.

my package was from Laura in Illinois, U.S.A. the home of the White Squirrel ~ who is now hanging out on my Christmas tree.

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