Monday, 21 December 2009

Cranberry and Port Christmassy Parcels!

These are an excellent alternative to the traditional mince pie and very easy to make!
You will need 1-2 pots of Waitrose's CRANBERRY AND PORT mincemeat, a pack of Filo pastry and 6 oz of melted unsalted butter. A pastry brush and a pile of dampened teatowels....
For the parcels you cut 4 squares of about 11-15 cm , this ccomes out of just one sheet of filo normally so keep the rest under a damp teatowel or the pastry dries out.
Working on another damp teatowel on your worksurface: butter each square in turn and lay them on top of each other as in the photo above, turning a quarter each time.
Put 1-2 teaspoons of mincemeat in the centre and gather up the corners to make a parcel, twist and secure with a piece of string.
Bake in a preheated or fan oven at 200 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
Ta dah!!! Delicious cold dusted with icing sugar or hot and served with brandy cream or vanilla ice cream!!! My kids help make them and also help eat them up double time!
Remove the string after baking but before serving.

Also these triangles are rather dinky and again very popular! Easier to eat as finger food than the parcels....
Start with one sheet of filo on a damp teatowel, cut in half and keep one half covered with another damp teatowel, paint melted butter onto the exposed strip: lengthwise and only on HALF of it.
Like so, see? Sorry it's a bit sideways...

Now fold over the non buttered side onto the buttered half and paint butter on it again, all over the strip this time. Put a dollop: ummm 1- 2 teaspoons of mince meat 1 inch from the top onto the strip.
Now comes the tricky bit: fold the top right hand corner down to meet the left vertical edge, thus making a diagonal fold across the top sloping down left to right....
Make sure the left edge is well sealed.

Now continue folding: staright down with a horizontal fold is next.
Your top edge is now straight and there's a diaginal fold sloping up from left to right at the lower edge.
Now fold across this diagonal so your top left corner meets bottom right.
Now you fold across a straight horizontal again. Keep going in this fashion.
If it's too hard to follow: try it with a long thin strip of paper.

It's a bit like origami, isn't it?
The next fold after the above is over the horizontal fold at the bottom...
There she goes... Keep going untill you have used up the strip. Paint on butter and sprinkle with castor sugar. Place on baking sheet under a damp teatowel until ready to bake.
12-15 minutes in a preheated 200 degree oven.
Ta dah!!! Mmmm mine have ooozed a lot, may have put too much mincemeat on... However not to worry: if you use non stick bakeware the oozed sauce peels off when cooled and is a yummy sticky, fruity type toffee......!!! For once the kids do not mind the clearing up.....
A pot made about 11 of my triangles and I had pastry left over so you could try 1 teaspoon of mincemeat to make more triangles!!!

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