Christmas just isn’t Christmas without sipping on some fruity mulled wine while tucking into hearty, festive mince pies. And we just love Jamie Oliver's recipes so we had to share them with you...
Cooking Time: 1Hr 25Mins, plus chilling.
What you’ll need:
Unsalted butter, for greasing
Plain flour, for dusting
375 g shortcrust pastry
200 g good-quality mincemeat
A splash of brandy, sherry or orange juice
½ an apple
2 balls of stem ginger
50 g dried apricots
75 g dried cranberries
A pinch or two of mixed spice
1 large free-range egg
1 tablespoon semi-skimmed milk
Icing sugar, for dusting
Let’s get baking:
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and grease a shallow cupcake tray lightly with butter.
Dust a clean surface and rolling pin with flour, then roll half the pastry out to the thickness of a pound coin. Carefully cut out 12 circles with a pastry cutter or a clean glass tumbler, then lay them in the hollows of the tray and place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, spoon the mincemeat into a mixing bowl, breaking it up with a spoon as you go. Pour in the brandy, sherry or orange juice.
Peel the apple and chop into small chunks, then finely chop the ginger and apricots. Add to the mincemeat with the cranberries and mixed spice, then mix well.
Roll out the remaining pastry to the same thickness. Using a smaller cutter or tumbler than before, cut out another 12 circles – these will be the lids for your pies. Knead the pastry trimmings together briefly, roll out and cut into shapes to decorate the tops of your pies (stars and tree-shapes work well).
Take the pastry bases out of the fridge and fill them just over halfway up with mincemeat, then smooth the filling out to the edges. Beat the egg and milk together, then brush over the top edges of the pastry. Lay the lids over the top, then crimp the edges together with your thumb and forefinger so the lids stick to the bases. Top each pie with a cut-out shape, then brush once more with the egg wash.
Bake in the hot oven for around 25 minutes, or until the pastry is cooked through and golden on top. Dust with icing sugar before serving, then dig in.
Tip: Adding a little sprinkling of ground cinnamon in with the icing sugar before dusting is super delicious, too.
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
What you’ll need:
200 g caster sugar
6 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
3 fresh bay leaves
1 whole nutmeg, for grating
1 vanilla pod
2 star anise
2 bottles Chianti or other Italian red wine
Let’s Get Started:
Peel large sections of peel from the clementine’s, lemon and lime using a speed-peeler.
Put the sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the pieces of peel and squeeze in the clementine juice.
Add the cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and about 10 to 12 gratings of nutmeg. Halve the vanilla pod lengthways and add to the pan, then stir in just enough red wine to cover the sugar.
Let this simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved into the red wine, then bring to the boil. Keep on a rolling boil for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until you’ve got a beautiful thick syrup. The reason I’m doing this first is to create a wonderful flavour base by really getting the sugar and spices to infuse and blend well with the wine. It’s important to make a syrup base first because it needs to be quite hot, and if you do this with both bottles of wine in there you’ll burn off the alcohol.
When your syrup is ready, turn the heat down to low and add your star anise and the rest of the wine. Gently heat the wine and after around 5 minutes, when it’s warm and delicious, ladle it into heatproof glasses and serve.
Recipe’s courtesy of Jamie Oliver.