Christmas Lunch 2012

Summarising inspiration & references for this year’s lunch & gifts

  • Zingy Salmon with Mango Salsa: the salsa served at lunch was comprised of finely diced mangoes (2), red capsicum (1), red onion (1), green chillies (2), juice of limes (2) and lemon (1), equal volume of olive oil to combined juices, and finely sliced coriander (1/2 bunch),
  • Lamb & Salsa Verde directions were snipped from an Australian Gourmet Traveller magazine some time ago; however there is a similar recipe online.  Using deboned lamb legs (about 1.2kg each) simplified carving,
  • Poached turkey with tonnato (replaced horseradish with dry mustard powder, and consistency of sauce was fine without stock),
  • A batch of Dark Fruit Mixture fuelled the pudding, then used the remainder to freshen a stash of last year’s hibernating fruit mince to make two large fruit mince tarts, using the method that follows,
  • Christmas pudding
  • Caramel Christmas Cake baked as 16 individual portions for 1 hour at 160° C.
  • Two kinds of muesli: Rose Petal & Pepper (1 tablespoon whole peppercorns rather than the prescribed 1/8 teaspoon, omitted rose water, did not toast petals, and used 1 baking tray of crisp, sun-dried bracts) and Honey-toasted Fruit Muesli (embellished with sliced dried apple, sliced dried apricots, and whole semi-dried blueberries).

Merry Christmas to All.

Impermeable Pastry for Mince Tarts

Reinforced this pastry with an egg to prolong its crispness under the fruit mince. Roll as thinly as possible, as otherwise it might turn out to be quite tough.

Whiz 175g cold butter cut into cubes with 450g plain flour and 50g cornflour in the bowl of a food processor, until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Pulse in a whole large egg, followed by tablespoons of cool water until the dough forms a ball (somewhere between 4 to 6 tablespoons of water). Tip dough onto a lightly floured surface, knead quickly to form a ball, then divide the ball into two equal portions. Flatten each portion into a disk shape, blanket in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for an hour. Roll each dough portion to about 2 or 3mm thick to line 2 20x30cm paper-lined trays. Prick all over with a fork and chill for another 10-15 minutes while oven heats to 190ºC.  Bake pastry cases blind for 10 minutes, then another 10 minutes until crisp and pale gold.  Allow to cool.  Unfilled pastry shell will keep for several days in an airtight container.

When ready to serve mince tarts, fill cases with fruit mince and bake at 190ºC for 15 minutes.  Sprinkle with slivered almonds and bake for a further 15 minutes, or until almonds are toasted and mince is bubbling.

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