Merry Christmas!

I was a rather busy bee over the Christmas week, including having to face the Christmas grocery shop at both Waitrose and Sainsbury’s. 

First on my Christmas Eve list of things to do was the cranberry sauce. Mindful that Mother was making duck l’orange, I used the BBC good food cranberry sauce that featured orange. Cranberry sauce may just be the easiest thing to make in the world. The length of cooking time depends on how thick or smooth you like your cranberry sauce, but mine took about 15 minutes.

Next up was my second, and much more successful, attempt at mince pies (first disaster here). I followed the same pastry recipe as before but had a cooler kitchen and let it rest in the fridge for an hour rather than the 20 minutes suggested. The recipe is also quite vague about how much liquid to add to the pastry dough. Last time I added too much too soon and made a seriously hot, wet mix.

I also used a mini cupcake tray rather than a standard cupcake/muffin tin. As the tin was smaller I was able to use a round cutter for the base of the pie and a smaller fluted cutter for the lids. The result was pop in your mouth baby mince pies. Mum and Dad think they are delicious.
For mince pie pastry
420g plain flour
140g icing sugar 
350g cold butter, diced 
Grated rind and juice of 1 orange 
Milk, for glazing 
Sift the flour and icing sugar into a bowl. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. I found the best way of doing this was to put it in the food processor with the cutting blade attached and pulse it.
Add the orange rind. Stir in the freshly squeezed orange juice half a teaspoon at a time until the mixture binds. Gather into a ball, wrap in cling film, and refrigerate for 45mins – 1 hour.
Preheat a 220C oven. Once chilled, roll out the pastry 5mm thick. With your pastry cutter (8cm if using a traditional bun tray) stamp out 36 rounds. If you are using two different cutters make sure you have an equal amount of each shape. 
Transfer the rounds to line a greased tray. Fill with mincemeat and top with another round of pastry. I cheated and used Robertson’s jar of mincemeat which worked perfectly fine, but if you’ve got the time you could always make your own.
Brush lightly with milk. Bake until golden, 15 – 20 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before unmolding. Dust with icing sugar, if wished. 

If there is anyone out there who actually reads my blog besides Selina and Tyler, you may remember I made two Christmas puddings on Stir it up Sunday last month. After sleeping in the back of a cool dry cupboard, it was finally time to give it the final 2 hour steam, douse with brandy and set it alight. 

What a beauty. 

A rather delicious and fruity Christmas pudding, if I do say so myself. I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and enjoy your New Year celebrations! 
Harleigh Reid
Harleigh Reid

I write about food and eat a lot.

Find me on: Twitter



  1. 31st December 2016 / 2:20 am

    I couldn’t refrain from commenting. Perfectly written!

    • Harleigh Reid
      31st December 2016 / 12:55 pm

      Thank you! Wishing you a happy new year!

  2. 26th June 2017 / 11:10 pm

    I enjoy your writing style genuinely loving this web site.

  3. 23rd September 2017 / 12:22 am

    Good write-up. I absolutely love this site. Keep it up!

  4. 8th October 2017 / 7:26 pm

    Hello, I read your new stuff daily. Your writing style is awesome, keep doing what you’re

  5. 9th October 2017 / 6:41 am

    Hi! I could have sworn I’ve visited this blog
    before but after going through many of the posts I realized it’s new to me.

    Anyhow, I’m definitely pleased I found it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking
    back regularly!

  6. 25th October 2017 / 4:52 pm

    Good day! I simply would like to give you a big thumbs up for your
    great info you have got here on this post. I will be coming back to your blog for more soon.