Monday, 31 December 2012

Leftover Turkey and Cranberry Filo Pie

After Christmas I had quite literally a bucket-load of turkey to play with thanks to Knorr.
I had so many recipe ideas swirling around in my head it was hard to decide which to chose.

At the December Private Pie meeting I tasted an utterly divine Turkey and Cranberry pie and had been dreaming of it ever since, so after much deliberation I decided to try and create my own version...

However, after eating so much rich and fatty foods for about a week I decided that a buttery shortcrust may not be the best thing to accompany this delectable filling. I decided instead for a light crunchy filo topping, lightly brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt. I got the idea for the filo topping from the Hairy Dieters Cookbook, it really is a delicious and healthier alternative to shortcrust or puff pastry.

The filling is the real jewel in this recipes crown and it is almost sinfully easy! The creamy sauce combined with the shredded roast turkey and sweet cranberry sauce makes for a light sweet flavour, combined with the savoury, salty pastry top it really is something special.

print recipe
Leftover Turkey and Cranberry Filo Pie.
A great way to use up leftover Christmas turkey and cranberry sauce.
Ingredients
  • 150-200g Roast Turkey
  • 200ml Creme Fraiche
  • 2 tablespoons Cranberry Sauce
  • 2 sheets Filo Pastry (shop bought)
  • Chopped Fresh Parsley
  • A splash Olive Oil
Instructions
Combine the shredded turkey and creme fraiche.

Spoon the cranberry sauce into the mixture and gently stir, you still want lumps of cranberry sauce visible.

Spoon the mixture into an individual pie dish and scatter the parsley on top.

Brush the filo sheets with olive oil and scrunch/place on top of the filling, be sure to cover the filling completely, then scatter with sea salt.

Cook at 180C for 20 minutes, until the top is golden brown.

Many thanks to Knorr and Foreman and Field for the wonderful hamper which helped to create this recipe.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

A Very Merry Christmas 2012.

Isn't it funny how we spend months and months planning, shopping, preparing and before you know it, it's all over.

Don't get me wrong I love Christmas and part of the excitement is the build up, but I just wish the day itself would be longer! I want more time to cook, more time to drink bucks fizz and open presents, I want it all... again! (Excuse me while I have a straight leg toddler tantrum.)

anyway, back to business. How was your Christmas?

Mine was just lovely! I was lucky enough to have two Christmas days this year, one at home with the boyfriend, and one down in Suffolk with my sister and auntie.

My home Christmas was perfect, relaxing, romantic and with enough food for about 12 people! I was lucky enough to be sent a Christmas hamper from Knorr. This wonderful box of seasonal food contained pretty much everything you need for a Christmas feast, including a Seldom Seen Farm Turkey, Longman's Farm Butter, Emmett's Mild Cure Back Bacon, Foreman and Field Christmas Stuffing,Chapel Down Nectar Dessert Wine, Mince Pies and Knorr Gravy Pots.

I have never cooked a roast of this size, and was pretty nervous but was delighted with how it turned out. The butter and bacon kept the meat moist and there was enough leftovers for the following 5 days of meals! (crazy!)

Our dinner was just perfect and as you can see from Paulie's face, he was very pleased. Alongside our monster turkey we had both roast and mash potatoes, mashed turnip, carrots, yorkshire puddings, stuffing balls and knorr gravy.


Special shout out to Knorr Chicken Gravy Pots, so easy to use and not a lump in sight!

I *may* have made a bit much for just two people, but it meant I got to get creative with left overs. I made Turkey and Cranberry pies, turkey enchiladas, sausage meat balls and spaghetti... Alongside many sandwiches and snacks.

It is now nearly January and we have just run out of leftovers, the sign of the perfect Christmas dinner if you ask me!

My second Christmas took place in Suffolk with my family. My sister's (pictured) birthday is on the 20th of December so we had a double celebration. We had a lovely meal at a local restaurant for my sister's birthday and went to watch a Christmas Spectacular show in Snape Maltings (There is actually a place called Snape! My inner Harry Potter geek was thrilled, sadly it was too dark to get a photo of the sign.

While we were down south my Auntie was having a clearout out and I scored massively! I got boxes full of china and bakeware, I'll blog about this haul very soon.

I was very blessed in the present department, I got some lovely cookbooks, cake carrier and tin from lakeland, smellies, booze and yankee candles. I am a very lucky girl!

As always Christmas was all about the games, I was victorious once again in Scrabble, Monopoly AND Cluedo, not that I am overly competitive in the slightest...

So, I hope you all had a lovely day and Happy New Year to all my lovely readers!

Friday, 14 December 2012

An alternative to Mince Pies at Christmas - Mulled Wine & Cranberry Frangipane Pies.

I love Christmas, when it comes to this time of year I am a huge kid and love pretty much all things Christmas related, with the exception of mince pies and Christmas cake, something about all that dried fruit just really doesn't appeal to me. I love the idea of sitting by a roaring fire (or in my case a radiator) with a nice hot toddy and a mince pie but in practice I just can't stomach them! Bleugh.

This year I decided to try and find a suitably Christmassy alternative. I have a million ideas swimming around in my brain but the one which sprang to mind first was some sort of Christmas style bakewell tart. After seeing some cranberries on special in my local Tesco, the recipe was starting to take shape

It was one of those recipes which I sort of made up as I went, I love having a good mad scientist style experiment in the kitchen. It doesn't always pay off but when it does... Oh boy!

I stewed my cranberries in mulled wine and spices for nearly two hours, reducing it to a sticky syrup which tastes EXACTLY like Christmas. *win*

The pastry is crisp, sweet and gently flavoured with ginger and the almond frangipane blanket tops off the whole affair perfectly.

I had a friend over when I was baking, so a few glasses of wine meant that mine were in the oven a smidge too long, but dust with icing sugar and no one is any the wiser! Right?

Without further ado, onto the recipe...

print recipe
Mulled Wine & Cranberry Frangipane Pies.
A great alternative to a mince pie.
For the pastry
  • 225g Plain Flour
  • 25g Ground Almonds
  • 55g Icing Sugar
  • 180g Cold, cubed butter
  • 2 medium egg yolks
  • 30-40ml Ice cold water
  • half a teaspoon Ground ginger
For the frangipane
  • 100g Melted butter
  • 100g Caster sugar
  • 100g Ground almonds
  • 100g Semolina
  • 2 Beaten eggs
  • Handful Flaked almonds
For the Jam
  • 100-150g Fresh Cranberries (could use frozen)
  • Half a bottle Mulled wine
  • 75g Caster Sugar
  • pinches Various christmassy spices
Instructions
Pastry

1. Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl or kitchen aid style mixer.
2. Add the cubed butter and rub until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
3. Add the egg yolks and water and bring it all together into a dough, try not to handle too much. I usually tip the whole lot into a sandwich bag and put it straight in the fridge for 20 minutes.
4. Once chilled, roll out and cut into circles and line a greased 12 hole muffin tin (see picture).

Frangipane

1. Melt the butter and allow to cool.
2. Add the eggs and mix well.
3. Fold in the dry ingredients. The mixture should be thick and golden.

Mulled wine & cranberry jam.

1. Pop all the ingredients into a pan and simmer for around 1.5 hours, until thickened and syrupy.

Now all you need to do is pop a spoonful of jam in the bottom of each tart, cover with the frangipane (try to cover the jam completely to avoid it boiling out when baking). Sprinkle flaked almonds on the top and bake at 180C for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and delicious!

Don't forget the liberal sprinkling of icing sugar!

I took these little pies to Private Pie's first birthday party on Thursday night, they went down a treat but were a little humbled by the delicious offerings everyone else brought, more on this another time.

Stay tuned for more alternative christmas bakes in the next week

I've added this recipe to the fresh cranberry link up on Blue Kitchen Bakes, check it out for more fresh cranberry recipes.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Meal Planning Monday - 10th December.

It slowly creeping closer to christmas, the closer it gets the more disorganised I seem to get! I mean I have all the meals for Christmas planned but nothing for the days leading up to or after! I seem to just be focusing on Christmas Eve and the day itself. This is all well and good, but we do need to eat everyday...

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Gingerbread House Challenge 2012.

Last Sunday I took part in a fantastic charity event in Newcastle. It was a Gingerbread House Challenge organised by Lisa from Newcastle Clandestine Cake Club. This wonderful event was to raise money for the Sick Children's Trust, a really important charity which works to provide a home from home for families with children in hospital.

The event itself was amazing! So many people turned up, there was over 30 gingerbread houses entered and the venue was jam packed. There was also a raffle and various games like guess the weight of the cake etc...

Monday, 3 December 2012

Meal Planning Monday - 3rd December.

I have quite frankly been an atrocious meal planner of late. I just got myself in one of those vicious cycles of laziness and comfort eating. With christmas around the corner I really need to start planning my christmas food and making space in freezers etc...

So I am back on the planning-wagon and raring to go, no more late night chippy teas for this food blogger!...

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