Sunday 19 December 2010
Sorry for the delay. I meant to post these yesterday, but then life got in the way . . .
This one is very simple and you could use apples instead of pears if you wish. I had some left-over pastry so I made a small one with apples. Equally delicious.
PEAR AND MINCEMEAT PIE
100g (3 1/2 oz) caster sugar
2 tblspns plain flour
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
7 pears, peeled, cored and sliced (I found 5 were ample)
1 (450g) pack ready-rolled shortcrust pastry sheets (I made my own pastry with 1 lb plain flour and 8 oz of margarine)
1 1/2 tblspns lemon juice (I omitted this as I used some boozy fruits in brandy)
1/4 tsp caster sugar
4 tblspns mincemeat (I used home made)
Preheat oven to 180 deg. C (350 deg. F, Gas 4).
In a large bowl combine first amount of sugar, flour, ginger and cinnamon. Add pears and toss, stir in mincemeat. (TBH, I think you don't need to coat the pears at all . . .)
Line a 23cm (9") pie tin with one sheet of pastry. Place mixture into pastry case, sprinkle with lemon juice and top with second sheet of pastry. Cut slits in top and sprinkle with second amount of sugar.
Bake on bottom shelf of oven for 60 ins or until pears are cooked and pastry is browned. Allow to cool and serve warm.
I also made some Scandinavian Almond Bars, which were scoffed at a great rate by my offspring, and a demand made for More on Christmas Day Please . . .
SCANDINAVIAN ALMOND BARS
1 3/4 cups (about 7 oz.) all purpose (plain flour)
2 tspns baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened (about 3 oz)
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup sliced almonds, coarsely chopped
Preheaat oven to 325 deg. F. In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 secs. (Being an old fogey, I did this by hand). Add sugar, beat until combined. Beat in egg and almond extract. Add flour mixture; beat until combined.
Divide dough into four portions. Shape each portion into a 12" long roll. Place two of the rolls 4 to 5" apart on a greased cookie sheet. using your hands, flatten each roll until it is 3" wide. Repeat with remaining rolls on a second cookie sheet. Brush flattened rolls with milk and sprinkle with almonds.
Bake one sheet at a time, for 12 - 15 mins or until edges are lightly browned. While still warm, slice diagonally into 1" wide bars. Transfer to wire racks and cool. Drizzle with Almond icing. Makes about 48 bars.
In a small bowl, stir ttogether 1 cup sifted powdered sugar, 1/4 tsp almond extract and enough milk or water (3 - 4 tspns) to reach drizzling consistency.