Caroline Shares A British Holiday Treat

We Brits take Christmas baking very seriously, sometimes planning months in advance to make traditional truffles, cakes and slow soaked boozy fruit puddings. I have fond memories cooking British holiday puddings, so recreating these classic recipes is something I look forward to this time of year. I recently dug into fellow Brit, Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook, which is filled with recipes, edible gifts and all the British Christmas traditions I know and love. As a nod to my English roots, I made his Classic Mince Pies, a very traditional holiday sweet, lightened up a bit with butternut squash. Not only are they a delicious afternoon treat, but these pies make wonderful gifts too.

Jamie Oliver's Christmas Cookbook

Mince Pies are a quintessential holiday treat in England, and in Jamie Oliver's Christmas Cookbook he uses homemade pastry crust and a classic mincemeat filling with roasted butternut squash. The pastry dough comes together with a mix of flour, confectioner's sugar (or powdered sugar), butter, eggs and milk. These Teak Measuring Cups and Teak Measuring Spoons are my favorite to use while baking because they're durable, sustainable and pretty too. 

Jamie Oliver's Mince Pies
Jamie Oliver's Mince Pie recipe

To make the filling, I roasted a whole butternut squash in the oven and scooped out the inside. Then I added in the mincemeat, chopped almonds and maple syrup to the squash. If you're not familiar with mincemeat, it's a mixture of chopped dried fruits, distilled spirits and spices. Historically, mincemeat was used to preserve meat using sugar and alcohol, and has evolved into a typically meatless filling for Christmastime pastries and pies. 

Jamie Oliver's Mince Pies

Once the dough has chilled and been rolled out, the rest comes together quickly. I cut out circles in the dough using a pastry cutter (or a glass jar - whatever you have on hand) in two sizes – a larger size to press into the muffin pans and a smaller size to top the pies. Then I added the filling and topped the pies, pinching the edges gently together to seal them up.  

Jamie Oliver's Mince Pies
Jamie Oliver's Mince Pies
Jamie Oliver's Mince Pies

Baked until golden brown on the top and dusted with confectioner's sugar, these pies are beautiful straight from the oven. The Chamberlin Platter is a perfect serving dish as part of a sweet afternoon treat with a cup of tea, a glass of red wine or an after dinner liquor. Traditionally, dating back to the middle ages, one mince pie was eaten for each of the twelve days from Christmas Day to the twelfth night. Doing this was thought to bring you happiness for the next twelve months. 

Jamie Oliver's Mince Pies

These mince pies also make a wonderful gift using our DIANI Cookie Box. I stacked two pies in each section and wrapped the box in our DIANI tissue paper, then added one of our personalized cards and some fresh greenery. Edible gifts are some of my favorite Christmas gifts to give and receive. Remember the Rum Truffles from last year featured in this post? I'll be making more of those this weekend too. 

Jamie Oliver's Mince Pies

Baking is one of my favorite ways to get in the spirit of the season, and I'm excited to bring some British recipes into the mix this year. For the full mince pie recipe, snag a copy of his cookbook in our store or online here.

Sending love & holiday cheer, 

  

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