Tis the Season

This week saw the in the third thursday of November, which is offciially Beaujolais Nouveau day. This is the day that the new Beaujolias wines are released for sale, just 6-8 weeks after the grapes were harvested. Apparently it is quite the event, with all the swanky (rather than trampy) wine-o’s racing to the shops to get their hands on the best bottle. Beaujolais, made from the Gamay grape and characteristically pinky in colour, is somewhat of a specialist taste-for those of you who like your reds full-bodied and smokey this is not the one for you. Due to the all-too-brief fermentation period, this wine does not keep (darn it you’ll just have to drink it straight away), and has an unusual, raw edge to it. This is a strangely fruity aromatic wine, which i quite enjoy, slightly chilled, and eaten with a the first mince pies of the year- but by no means the last…

Here’s how to do it:

Pastry (makes 8)

175g plain flour

80g butter

pinch salt

40g caster sugar

1 whole egg, whisked


Pulse the flour and cold butter (cut into cubes)  in a food processor for a few seconds until it looks like fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and salt and pulse briefly again. Add the whisked egg and blend until it begins to come together as a mass. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 40 mins in the fridge. Roll out to pound coin thickness, cut with a cutter and place in muffin tins. Fill generously with your HOMEMADE MINCEMEAT (see earlier post), damp the edges with milk, then stick the lids on, pressing down with your fingertips to seal. Brush with egg/milk wash, cut a cross in the top and bake for 20-30 mins until golden brown-keep an eye on them though-they burn easily. Eat with cream or brandy butter and a glass of the red stuff. Merry Christmas!


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