Wednesday, 9 December 2009

And so the festive baking begins!

Back in the summer I feared my tomatoes weren't going to ripen so I picked a whole load green and made Green Tomato Mincemeat. It does sound odd but really the green tomato just replaces the green apple which is rather more conventionally used in mincemeat recipes. It produces a fairly light tasting mincemeat which suits my palate, there is no discernible 'tomatoey' taste whatsoever. To be honest though, just about anything smothered in suet, brandy, mixed spice and nutmeg would taste like mincemeat!

So, what to do with 6lbs of homemade mincemeat? Mince Pies? Check. I took some to my first jam sale last weekend to give away as samples of the mincemeat, however, I was forbidden from using them as the organisers of the fete were selling their own mince pies so I brought them home again. They are now nestling safely in the freezer awaiting a festive defrost in a couple of weeks.

Today we are on day 3 of house arrest with poorly children so to stave off cabin fever I've abandoned them to Cbeebies and locked myself in the kitchen to make Mincemeat Muffins. I used this recipe on Recipe Zaar but adapted it slightly to use what I have in my cupboards, plus I've anglicised the weights and measures. I also decided to leave out the sugar on the original recipe (there's plenty of sweetness in the icing) and use wholemeal flour. It gives the muffins a taste which is vaguely reminiscent of carrot cake and also shares that sense that if you sort of half close your eyes and squint a bit you can convince yourself that they're actually healthy.

Mincemeat Muffins.
50g chopped walnuts
1 pear, bottled in spiced cider, chopped (or chopped apple)
1 large egg
175ml apple juice
75ml vegetable oil
350g mincemeat
225g self raising wholemeal flour
1tbsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon

100g Icing sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3 or 4 tsp apple juice

In a large bowl mix together the egg, apple juice and oil. Stir in the mincemeat and chopped walnuts and pear/apple. In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Add to the egg mixture and mix til just combined.

Fill a muffin tray lined with paper muffin cases about 2/3 full and bake at gm6 for 20 minutes.

To make the icing mix the cinnamon into the icing sugar and stir in enough apple juice to make a thickish icing (don't spill the apple juice in a cackhanded fashion and thin the icing beyond salvage. That's a bad idea. And I didn't do it. Honest). Spread the icing on the warm muffins.

If these cakes survive long enough I'll lob in the freezer alongside the mince pies but they're so warm and spicy and yummy they may not see tomorrow to be honest ....


  1. Like the idea of this, might give them a go for boxing day

  2. If I remember rightly, didn't you do the Pam Corbin pears too? They're really nice in this.

  3. Hope house arrest isn't too trying. Dx

  4. Haven't had time to come on for a while with all the christmas stuff but great to be able to go back and read through everything...I'm hoping to have more time now to write something on my own blog and keep up with everyone else's....

    Loving your christams recipes and this one makes my mouth water....thinking of making these but without the icing as I don't fancy the sweetnes...MMMMMM don't you just love christmas!!!!!

  5. Fingers crossed house arrest is over tomorrow, Willow has a school trip so I predict a speedy recovery!

    Tanya - Did you see Kirsty's home-made Christmas? I may try her puff pastry mince pie parcels, they looked yummy.