Pies & Tarts


Bakewell Tart

I was quite pleased when I saw the Daring Bakers challenge this month.  I have very British parents and, despite also having lived in London myself  for a few years, am quite familiar with the Bakewell Tart.  I knew one taste would bring with it some happy memories and a warm sense of nostalgia.

On a practical note, I was also delighted to be making short crust pastry (after quite an absence, I must say).  Every time I make pastry, I vow never to wait so long next time.   So here was my chance.

The tart is very easy to make.  It is essentially a very simple sweet short crust pastry, topped with jam and then a deliciously rich frangipane (almond paste).  I made this tart with blackberry jam, but would love to experiment further.  Perhaps create little individual tarts next time that showcase a variety of flavours.

I will definitely make this again.  It is so simple, and for me, full of lovely memories.

The June Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart… er… pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800’s in England.

{ Bakewell Tart }

Place the chilled dough disc (recipe below) on a lightly floured surface. If it is overly cold, you will need to let it become acclimatised for about 15 minutes before you roll it out. Flour the rolling pin and roll the pastry to 5mm (1/4”) thickness, by rolling in one direction only (start from the centre and roll away from you), and turning the disc a quarter turn after each roll. When the pastry is to the desired size and thickness, transfer it to the tart pan, press in and trim the excess dough. Patch any holes, fissures or tears with trimmed bits. Chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 200C/400F.  Remove shell from freezer, spread as even a layer as you can of jam onto the pastry base. Top with frangipane (recipe below), spreading to cover the entire surface of the tart. Smooth the top and pop into the oven for 30 minutes. Five minutes before the tart is done, the top will be poofy and brownish. Remove from oven and strew flaked almonds on top and return to the heat for the last five minutes of baking.  The finished tart will have a golden crust and the frangipane will be tanned, poofy and a bit spongy-looking. Remove from the oven and cool on the counter. Serve warm, with crème fraîche, whipped cream or custard sauce if you wish.  When you slice into the tart, the almond paste will be firm, but slightly squidgy and the crust should be crisp but not tough.

{ Sweet shortcrust pastry }

* Ingredients *

225g (8oz) all purpose flour
30g (1oz) sugar
2.5ml (½ tsp) salt
110g (4oz) unsalted butter, cold (frozen is better)
2 (2) egg yolks
2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract (optional)
15-30ml (1-2 Tbsp) cold water

* Directions *

Sift together flour, sugar and salt. Grate butter into the flour mixture, using the large hole-side of a box grater. Using your finger tips only, and working very quickly, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Set aside.  Lightly beat the egg yolks with the almond extract (if using) and quickly mix into the flour mixture. Keep mixing while dribbling in the water, only adding enough to form a cohesive and slightly sticky dough.  Form the dough into a disc, wrap in cling and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

{ Frangipane }

* Ingredients *

125g (4.5oz) unsalted butter, softened
125g (4.5oz) icing sugar
3 (3) eggs
2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract
125g (4.5oz) ground almonds
30g (1oz) all purpose flour

* Directions *

Cream butter and sugar together for about a minute or until the mixture is primrose in colour and very fluffy. Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. The batter may appear to curdle. In the words of Douglas Adams: Don’t panic. Really. It’ll be fine. After all three are in, pour in the almond extract and mix for about another 30 seconds and scrape down the sides again. With the beaters on, spoon in the ground nuts and the flour. Mix well. The mixture will be soft, keep its slightly curdled look (mostly from the almonds) and retain its pallid yellow colour.

Makes one 23cm (9” tart)

Finland summary

I was looking back on my posts in May and realised just how many Finnish, or Finnish inspired, baked goods I made.  Perhaps (obviously?), my favourite would be the cardamom and coffee macarons.  Though give me anything sweet with cardamom and I am a happy girl.

My faithful baking companion, The Great Scandinavian Baking Bookby Beatrice Ojakangas, may be returned to the shelf for now but I am sure she will make an appearance again soon.

In the meantime, here is a quick re-cap of what I made last month during my Finnish baking adventures.  This list surely now includes some of my new favourites.

1. Cardamom macarons with coffee cream
2. Hannatädinkakut :: Aunt Hanna’s Cookies (p138)
3. Karjalanpiirakat:: Karelian Rice Pasties (p272)
4. Mustikkapiiraat :: Blueberry Filled Buns (p237)
5. Omenapiirakka :: Finnish Apple Pie (p240)
6. Pulla :: Finnish Cardamom Bread (p70)

Cherry Strudel single

I probably should not share this, but I often talk to myself.  It can happen anytime.  Anywhere.  Once, I was talking to myself while getting out of my car in the driveway, and my partner (inside the house!), thought someone was with me.  I am not sure why I talk to myself on occasion, but I am fairly certain it has been a regular part of my life.

Making the strudel for the Daring Bakers challenge this month was no exception.

I have been reading about a few cherry dishes at some of my favourite blogs recently.  Even though we are quite a few months off fresh cherries here in Australia, I was keen to incorporate cherry into my strudel.  So as a substitute, I bought some preserved sour cherries.  With a small additional of breadcrumbs and sugar, this turned out to be a perfect filling.

I was disappointed with my pastry effort.  I had quite a few holes as I worked the pastry and attempted to make it paper-thin.  The actually dough was quite easy to make so will try again at some point.  Despite the hiccups with the pastry, however, I was really happy with the challenge this month.  Strudel pastry is not something I had made before.

When the strudel was baked, I needed to take a few photos.  It was a little chilly outside and overcast.  It has been practically raining non-stop here in Brisbane.  So when picking a plate, I reached for black.  It seemed to match the drizzle outside.  The dark cherry looked nice against the colour, so off I went.  I took a few photos and checked in the viewfinder.  My ‘talking to myself’ habit then kicked in.  I giggled and then said to the strudel – yes, an inanimate object! – “You are such a moody strudel!”  Oh, I tried that in my best Austrian accent, too.

I continued to punctuate the conversation with my strudel with a few other snappy lines.  And not one to let a joke die its natural death, I call out to my partner to include him in the banter, and declared, “my strudel is moody, ja?”  He walked away grinning, shaking his head.

We have enjoyed our moody strudel the last few nights, slightly warmed with a tiny serve of vanilla ice cream.  I do enjoy fruit desserts so want to definitely try this pastry again.  And hopefully I have not disappointed my lovely friend M. in Austria.  Hopefully it would past the test?  I would send a test piece to you in Vienna if I could!

The May Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Linda of make life sweeter! and Courtney of Coco Cooks. They chose Apple Strudel from the recipe book Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague by Rick Rodgers.

Cherry Strudel

{ Apple strudel }
from “Kaffeehaus – Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague” by Rick Rodgers

* Ingredients *

2 tablespoons (30 ml) golden rum
3 tablespoons (45 ml) raisins
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (80 g) sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick / 115 g) unsalted butter, melted, divided
1 1/2 cups (350 ml) fresh bread crumbs
strudel dough (recipe below)
1/2 cup (120 ml, about 60 g) coarsely chopped walnuts
2 pounds (900 g) tart cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut into ¼ inch-thick slices (use apples that hold their shape during baking)

* Directions *
1. Mix the rum and raisins in a bowl. Mix the cinnamon and sugar in another bowl.

2. Heat 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the breadcrumbs and cook whilst stirring until golden and toasted. This will take about 3 minutes. Let it cool completely.

3. Put the rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a large baking sheet with baking paper (parchment paper). Make the strudel dough as described below. Spread about 3 tablespoons of the remaining melted butter over the dough using your hands (a bristle brush could tear the dough, you could use a special feather pastry brush instead of your hands). Sprinkle the buttered dough with the bread crumbs. Spread the walnuts about 3 inches (8 cm) from the short edge of the dough in a 6-inch-(15cm)-wide strip. Mix the apples with the raisins (including the rum), and the cinnamon sugar. Spread the mixture over the walnuts.

4. Fold the short end of the dough onto the filling. Lift the tablecloth at the short end of the dough so that the strudel rolls onto itself. Transfer the strudel to the prepared baking sheet by lifting it. Curve it into a horseshoe to fit. Tuck the ends under the strudel. Brush the top with the remaining melted butter.

5. Bake the strudel for about 30 minutes or until it is deep golden brown. Cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Use a serrated knife and serve either warm or at room temperature. It is best on the day it is baked.

{ Strudel dough }
from “Kaffeehaus – Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague” by Rick Rodgers

* Ingredients *

1 1/3 cups (200 g) unbleached flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons (105 ml) water, plus more if needed
2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil, plus additional for coating the dough
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar

* Directions *

1. Combine the flour and salt in a stand-mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix the water, oil and vinegar in a measuring cup. Add the water/oil mixture to the flour with the mixer on low speed. You will get a soft dough. Make sure it is not too dry, add a little more water if necessary.
Take the dough out of the mixer. Change to the dough hook. Put the dough ball back in the mixer. Let the dough knead on medium until you get a soft dough ball with a somewhat rough surface.

2. Take the dough out of the mixer and continue kneading by hand on an unfloured work surface. Knead for about 2 minutes. Pick up the dough and throw it down hard onto your working surface occasionally.
Shape the dough into a ball and transfer it to a plate. Oil the top of the dough ball lightly. Cover the ball tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to stand for 30-90 minutes (longer is better).

3. It would be best if you have a work area that you can walk around on all sides like a 36 inch (90 cm) round table or a work surface of 23 x 38 inches (60 x 100 cm). Cover your working area with table cloth, dust it with flour and rub it into the fabric. Put your dough ball in the middle and roll it out as much as you can. Pick the dough up by holding it by an edge. This way the weight of the dough and gravity can help stretching it as it hangs. Using the back of your hands to gently stretch and pull the dough. You can use your forearms to support it.

4. The dough will become too large to hold. Put it on your work surface. Leave the thicker edge of the dough to hang over the edge of the table. Place your hands underneath the dough and stretch and pull the dough thinner using the backs of your hands. Stretch and pull the dough until it’s about 2 feet (60 cm) wide and 3 feet (90 cm) long, it will be tissue-thin by this time. Cut away the thick dough around the edges with scissors. The dough is now ready to be filled.

Karelian Rice Pasties

I was lucky to visit Finland last year for a holiday.  It is a magnificant part of the world.  It is outdoorsy, rugged, scenic.  It is a country of contrast.  Extreme bitter terrain in winter.  Lush, fertile surroundings in summer.  It is small but vast.  It is quiet but friendly and warm.  Interestingly, I used to say my partner was full of contradictions.  Being Finnish, I suppose it is an intrinsic trait?

The Finnish landscape and scenery is quite arresting.  We travelled from Helsinki to Turku one day and past some beautiful countryside.  The photos below were taken wandering around Naantali.  For me, the wide open lake and the rich blooms greatly encapsulate southern Finland in the summer time.

These little rice pasties actually remind me of Finland.  For me, the rustic, earthiness make them quintessentially Finnish.  The pasties were actually requested by my partner to include in my Finnish baking month adventures.  He remembers them fondly.  Surprisingly, I never saw them when I was in Finland last year, but they must be popular because Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella also made a mention of them to me.  I am disappointed I did not come across them in my travels.  Admittedly, I think I was preoccupied not only with cardamom flavoured bread and buns, and all the fresh salmon on offer.  (I seriously think I ate salmon for every single meal during my time there.  It was sublime.)

I flicked through my trusty Scandinavian Baking book by Beatrice Ojakangas to find the recipe for these little rice pasties.  If they were popular, there was no question I would find them there.

The pastry was quite easy to make.  It literally mixed together by hand in less than 5 minutes.  The filling is the most time consuming part taking an hour to slowly simmer.  But I hit a snag.  I presume the rice needed to disintegrate, hence the 1 hour simmering time, but I have a bit of a problem.  I cook with gas and even my lowest setting produces a level of bubbling that could not constitute anything close to a simmer.  Never mind, I thought, I will cook it as well as I can.

After some quick assembly, these little pasties were made and baked.  Beatrice suggests serving with boiled eggs, which I actually do remember accompanying quite an amount of food in Finland.

So the verdict from my partner?  One star out of three.  Apparently the pastry was spot on (tick!), but overlapped the filling too much – should have been narrower (cross!), and the filling needed to be more cooked (cross!).  But despite that, they were still quickly consumed.  So all good in my eyes!

 NaantaliNaantali, Finland

 

{ Karelian Rice Pasties } by Beatrice Ojakangas

* Ingredients *

Pastry:
1 cup water
1 ½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cup rye flour
1 cup all purpose flour

Filling:
1 cup water
3 cups milk
¾ cup rice

Glaze:
1 cup milk, heated to boiling
¼ cup butter

* Directions *

Mix together the water, salt, rye flour and all purpose flour to make a smooth dough.  If necessary, add more water.  Shape the dough into a r0pe about the thickness of your wrist.  Cut into 16 equal portions.  Shape the pieces into flat round cakes and roll out to make a very thin circle about 6 to 8 inches / 15 to 20 cm in diameter.  Set aside.  To prepare the rice filling, combine the water, milk and rice in a heavy saucepan.  Simmer for 1 hour or until rice has absorbed all the liquid.  Taste and add salt and butter.  Cover baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly grease them.  Preheat oven to 550F or 290C.  Fill the centre of each circle with the cooked rice and fold over about ¾ inches or 2cm of the edges, pinching to crimp the edges, and shape an oval or round pie.  Place pies on prepared baking sheets.  Mix the boiling milk and butter to make a glaze.  Brush the pieces with the mixture.  Bake for 7 to 10 minutes.  Brush again with the butter-milk mixture.  Baked until tinged with gold.  Remove from the oven and brush again with the butter-milk mixture.  Serve cooled.  Pasties will soften as they cool.

Apple Pie

A while ago I saw the movie Confessions of a Shopaholic.  I apologise to all the people around me at the cinema when I constantly burst into laughter at the Finnish references.  As my partner is half Finnish, I seemed to find it all quite amusing for some reason.  The central character of the movie is asked why she uses Finland for all her excuses?  She replies, “because no one ever checks up on Finland”.

Comedic opportunities aside, I found that reference interesting.  As I have been fortunate to visit this beautiful part of the world, I suppose in a way Finland is one of the best kept secrets around.  (See some pictures from Suomenlinna Island below!)

And because I am inherently interested in baking, perhaps it would follow that Finnish baked goods are also some of the best kept secrets around?  Given that, this month I will endeavour to investigate traditional Finnish baked goods.

I recently baked Pulla.  Next up?  Omenapiirakka … or Finnish apple pie.  We are right in the middle of prime apple picking season so a perfect time for this pie.

I must say up front, you need to try this pie.  The best part for me was how easy the pastry was to make.  And even better than that, how delicious it was.  I actually made the pastry a day ahead and was able to quickly roll out, top with apple and then bake in less than 45 minutes.

To keep it simple, I served with a light dusting of icing sugar and some rich vanilla ice cream to complement the gooey caramelised apple centre of the pie. 

I asked my partner if he had eaten Omenapiirakka when living in Finland.  He had not.  But he swiftly gave me a list of things he remembered from Finland as well as his mummo’s – grandmother’s – baking.  (Kiitoksia kauhean paljon!)

Okay, pressure on now.

{ Omenapiirakka } by Beatrice Ojakangas
Finnish apple pie with cream crust

* Ingredients *

Pastry:
2 ¼ cups plain flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter
1 cup heavy cream

Filling:
4 tart apples, pared, cored and sliced
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon

Glaze:
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk

* Directions *

In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.  Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Add the cream and mix to make a soft dough. Chill 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425F or 220C.  Grease and dust a baking sheet lightly with flour.  Turn dough out onto the centre of the sheet and roll out to make a 12 inch / 30 cm square.

Combine the apples, sugar, flour, salt and cinnamon.  Arrange the apples in rows over the crust, leaving about 1 ½ inches or 4 cm empty at the edges.  Turn edges up over the filling and seal the corners.  Beat egg with milk to make a glaze and brush edge.

Bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until golden.

Island

 Suomenlinna Sea Fortress, Heksinki

pavlovaAustralia Day is just around the corner.  I always enjoy celebrating a holiday with baking, so for this holiday nothing would be more appropriate than to whip up some national goodies.  Unfortunately, there are only a small handful of baked treats that Australia can claim (and some really are ‘owned’ by our friendly neighbours to the east).  Nonetheless, when I think of Australia, I think of:

1. Pavlova
2. Lamingtons
3. Pumpkin Scones

These will adorn any of my national holiday celebrations.

{ Pavlova }

It is said that the Pavlova was invented to commemorate visiting Russian Ballerina, Anna Pavlova, to Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s.

While Australia often lays claim to this marshmallow-ey light dessert, recipes for Pavlova can be found in New Zealand a few years ahead of Australia.  Whichever way, this light meringue base, topped with fresh tropical fruit and cream, is a wonderful dessert and perfect end to any meal – in particular, an Australia Day BBQ! 

{ Pavlova ‘how to’ }

The key to the right consistency of the Pavlova meringue is vinegar and cornflour.  This ensures that the outside is lovely and crisp, while the centre has a creamy marshmallow texture.  The meringue base is made by beating egg whites to firm, stiff peaks then adding sugar very gradually to create a glossy texture.  Vinegar and cornflour is then added as the final step.  The mixture is piled high and baked in a slow oven. 

* Ingredients *

4 egg whites, at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
Pinch salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons corn flour
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

* Directions *

Preheat oven to 150 C (300 F).  Line a baking tray with parchment paper.  Trace out a circle around 20cm (8 inches) in diameter.  Turn the paper over so the pencil mark is on the underside.  Set aside.

Whip the egg whites together with cream of tartar and salt until foamy.  Gradually add the sugar and whip until mixture reaches stiff peaks.  Then add the cornstarch, vinegar, and vanilla and continue whipping until smooth and glossy.  This should take about 10 minutes in total.

Mound the meringue into the centre of the prepared circle.  Using a silicon spatula, smooth out the mixture to fill the circle.  Leave a slight dent in the centre so the cream and fruit can be piled up.

Bake for around 1 hour 30 to 1 hour 40 minutes. Turn off oven and leave the meringue to cool.  You can leave overnight.

When ready to serve the Pavlova, top with whipped cream and fresh fruit as desired.  Enjoy!

{ A few tips … }

1. Whenever working with egg whites, ensure all your equipment is completely spotless – bowls, beaters, silicon scrapers etc.  Any fat or yolk trace will inhibit the egg whites reaching full volume and impact the outcome of the recipe – trust me, I have been there before!
2. Pavlova is traditionally served as a single serving.  This is perfect to end an informal meal. However, consider creating smaller, individual sized portions are ideal to finish a more elegant dinner party.  Or you can create multiple layers of Pavlova and fill each layer with fruit and cream to make a multi-layer cake.
3. Also consider flavours other than the traditional vanilla for your Pavlova.  For example, add cocoa to the finished meringue for a chocolate Pavlova.  You do not have to limit your toppings to cream and fresh fruit.  Play around with flavours such as chocolate and caramel as well as crushed nuts for a totally different dessert experience.

mince-piesThe only request for baked goods I received this Christmas was from my lovely (and very English!) mother.  It was, of course, for mince pies.  I wanted to find a recipe that produced a melt-in-my-mouth result with the inclusion of shortening – shortening really does yield a lighter-textured result.

I found a recipe in Nigella Lawson’s How to be a Domestic Goddess cookbook.  In fact there were three options. I went with the ‘star topped’ version to use the same star cutter as my Linzer cookies.

It was all quite a quick process.  Given the time needed to typically handle pastry, it all came together quite speedily (which is helpful particularly in a sub-tropical climate!).  The resulting mince pies were received very well, with literally a dozen disappearing off the plate on Christmas day in less than 5 minutes.  I think that is a good sign!

If you like mince pies, you will like the lightness and sweetness of this recipe.

{ Star Topped Mince Pies } recipe by Nigella Lawson

Makes 2 dozen finished pies

* Ingredients *
1 cup plain (all purpose) flour
45g vegetable shortening
45g cold unsalted butter
Juice of 1 small orange
½ cup mincemeat
1 egg mixed with water for glaze
Icing sugar for dusting

* Directions *
Measure the flour out into a shallow bowl or dish, and using a teaspoon, dollop in little mounds of shortening, add the butter, diced small, combine with your hands and put in the freezer for 20 minutes.  Measure out the orange juice and put in the refrigerator.
Empty out the flour and fat into the bowl of a food processor and blitz until you have a pale pile of oatmeal-like crumbs.  Add the juice down the funnel, pulsing till it looks as if the dough is about to cohere; you want to stop just before it does (even if some orange juice is left).  If all your juice is used up and you need more liquid, add some iced water.  Turn out of the processor and, in your hands, combine to a dough.  Then form into two discs.  Wrap each in plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator to rest for 20 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 425 F or 220 C. 
Roll out the discs one at a time as thinly as you can without exaggerating.  Out of each rolled out disc cut out circles.  Press these circles gently into the moulds and dollop in a scant teaspoon of mincemeat.  Then cut out your stars and place them lightly on top of the mincemeat.  Re-roll pastry as required.
Glaze the pies before putting in the oven (I skipped this step as I wanted a lighter finish).  Bake pies for 10-12 minutes.  Cool on a rack and dust with icing sugar before serving.

Easy.  Delicious.

{ A few tips … }

1. If you do not own tart pans, substitute patty case or muffin tins.  Simply cut out a circle of pastry slightly larger than the tin whole and carefully insert.
2. Use a fluted cutter for festive edging.
3. You can use all butter if you do not wish to use vegetable shortening.  Your pastry will be slightly heavier and denser.

I love Christmas.  Like many people, for me Christmas is a chance to have a break, take stock of life and spend quality time with family in friends.  In recent years, my enjoyment of the festive season has heightened with the opportunity to bake – and what baking opportunities there are!

With the big day looming near (19 more sleeps!), I have not been focusing on the requisite present or Christmas card lists.  No indeed.  I have been focusing instead on baking lists.  (My priorities are pretty transparent, huh?)

I have been investigating a range of cheerful treats.  Macarons (due to my enduring obsession) is top of the list.  If lady luck is with me on Christmas Eve – when I am baking these tricky wonders – they will be included in my assortment.  Accompanying the Macaron will be a few other European cookie delights, including Palmiers, Pfeffernusse and Linzer sandwiches.  Yummy!  I can almost savour the cinnamony, spicy, peppery, jammy, and chocolately flavours already.

Complementing the cookie indulgences will be a few other rich tasting wonders.  To ensure some bite-sized snacks are at hand, I will be including some chocolate macaroon tartlets and Turkish delight into the already sugar-ladened mix.

To satisfy those more traditional tastes, I will bake a few Christmas cakes as well – for the first time, too!  My memories growing up are mostly of Lions Christmas cakes or similar purchased cakes.  Even though my mother is a fantastic baker, with so many priorities at Christmas time it was hard to cover everything.  So this will be my year.  It seems appropriate that something so traditional will be made from my first ever baking book – Women’s Weekly Cakes and Slices – which I bought in 1991.  (Great book by the way.)

In keeping with the traditional recipe selection, I will also make a handful of mince pies (request from my very English mother!).  She mumbled something about simply buying a box of Mr Kipling’s Mince Pies.  Well, I know Mr Kipling makes some exceedingly good cakes, but only home made from me!  Sorry, Mr Kipling.

With my list now completed, and a corresponding preparation and baking timetable all in order, I endeavour to accomplish all my baking tasks and the deliver the promise of a scrumptious Christmas.  Stay tuned for updates on the (hopefully) successful outcomes of each baked delight!  Bon Noël.

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