Caramelised Mincemeat Ravioli
This is a beautiful bite-sized version of mince pies, and I think not as fiddly. If you don't have a pastry wheel you can forgo the frilly edge and use a sharp knife to cut the pastry.
|For the Quick and Easy Flaky Pastry:|
|6 oz (175 g) butter|
|8 oz (225 g) plain flour, plus a little extra for dusting|
|pinch of salt|
|7 oz (200 g) good-quality mincemeat|
|1 large egg, beaten|
|1 oz (25 g) icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting|
|Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C).|
|Need help with conversions?|
|You will also need a solid baking sheet measuring 16 x 12 inches (40 x 30 cm), lightly greased, and a pastry wheel.|
This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book One
First make the pastry: remove a pack of butter from the fridge, weigh out 6 oz (175 g), then wrap it in a piece of foil and return it to the freezer or freezing compartment of the fridge for 30-45 minutes. Then, when you are ready to make the pastry, sift the flour and salt into a large, roomy bowl. Take the butter out of the freezer, fold back the foil and hold it in the foil, which will protect it from your warm hands. Then, using the coarse side of a grater placed in the bowl over the flour, grate the butter, dipping the edge of the butter on to the flour several times to make it easier to grate. What you will end up with is a large pile of grated butter sitting in the middle of the flour. Now take a palette knife and start to distribute the gratings into the flour – don't use your hands yet, just keep trying to coat all the pieces of fat with flour. Now sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons of cold water all over, continue to use the palette knife to bring the whole thing together, and finish off using your hands. If you need a bit more moisture, that's fine – just remember that the dough should come together in such a way that it leaves the bowl fairly clean, with no bits of loose butter or flour anywhere. Now pop it into a polythene bag and chill for 30 minutes before using. Then remove the rested pastry from the fridge on to a floured surface and shape it into an oblong. Cut the oblong into 2, one piece slightly larger than the other, then, on a lightly floured surface, first roll the smaller piece into a rectangle 12 x 10 inches (30 x 25.5 cm), roll it around the rolling pin and transfer it to the baking sheet. Next brush the surface of the pastry with the beaten egg, then, with the oblong turned lengthways, place 5 level teaspoons of mincemeat along one top edge and carry on with another row until you end up with 6 rows of mincemeat blobs. Now roll the larger piece of pastry into another oblong approximately 13 x 11 inches (32.5 x 28 cm), transfer this again by wrapping it around the rolling pin, and lay it carefully over the bottom piece of pastry, being careful not to trap too much air. Now gently press the pastry together to seal the little squares, then trim the edges and cut the whole lot into little squares using the pastry wheel. Next, with a pair of small scissors, make 2 little snips in each one to allow the air to escape. Now bake the whole lot in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown. To serve, pre-heat the grill to its highest setting for at least 10 minutes, then sprinkle the raviolis liberally with the sifted icing sugar and place them under the grill, very close to the heat source, for 40-60 seconds. What will happen is the icing sugar will caramelise to a lovely shiny glaze. Then serve dusted with a little more icing sugar as soon as they have cooled enough to eat, or cool and serve cold. Alternatively, re-heat and serve warm later.
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Home-made mincemeat is dead simple to make and this recipe is particularly succulent and moist, as the suet slowly melts to coat the fruits, sealing in moisture and flavour.
For Delia, this family recipe - made by both her grandmother and mother - brings back happy memories of freshly baked trays of mince pies on Christmas Eve.
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