One of the tastes that I have missed most, since living here in South Africa, is that of clotted cream. Traditionally produced for centuries in Devonshire, this is made by scalding the milk and scooping the cream off the top. It is then left to rest and firms up and develops a crust. It has a sweetness of flavour and amazing thick, unctuous texture. I have never found a similar cream in any other part of the world. My earliest childhood memories were of having tea with my family on Dartmoor, eating freshly baked scones with home-made strawberry jam and loads of cream. In fact we eat clotted cream with every possible dish and I have been known to eat spoonfuls of it just on its own. I think this is where my love of dairy products started. Every time I go back to Devon it is the first thing I buy at the local farm on the way up to the moors.
On the day it arrived here in Cape Town I took a jar home and we made some mince pies to go with the cream, it tasted heavenly. I like to make my own mincemeat and keep several jars in the cupboard. For my recipe this week we made an old fashioned mincemeat recipe. Note you can also take the easy route and buy ready made pies and just add the cream. I recommend pairing the mince pies and cream with a glass of Pol Roger champagne to celebrate the Festive Season.
Ingredients for Mincemeat
- 500g apples
- 225g shredded suet
- 350g seedless raisins
- 230g sultanas
- 230g currants
- 230h mixed candy peel well chopped
- 350g dark brown sugar
- 2 oranges
- 2 lemons
- 50g chopped walnuts
- 4 teaspoons mixed ground spice
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg powder
- 125ml Cognac from the French Market shop
- Devon Clotted Cream from the french Market shop
- Use ready made flaky or shortcrust pastry for the pies
- Core and finely chop the raw apples
- Finely grate the zest (outside rind) of the lemons and oranges
- Cut lemons and oranges in half and squeeze out the juice
- Put all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix together
- Cover and leave overnight in the fridge
- Spoon the mixture into a large casserole dish and cover with foil
- Preheat oven to 110C degrees
- Cook the mixture for 3 hours.
- Remove from heat and stir from time to time as it cools in order to evenly mix in the melted suet
- Once cool add the brandy
- Clean and sterilise jars by washing with hot soapy water then placing in hot oven 180C degrees for 5 minutes
- Fill sterilised jars and seal. The mincemeat will keep for a long time in a cupboard.
To make the mince pies:
- Roll out the pastry and cut in small circles. Place in small pie baking trays .
- Put a heaped teaspoonful of mincemeat on each base but do not fill otherwise mixture spills out of pies
- Slice some more pastry in thin strips and place crosswise over top of pies to make a lattice and wash top of pastry with beaten egg yolk or milk
- Bake for about 15 minutes at 180degrees until pastry is cooked
Serve warm mince pies with a dollop of Devonshire clotted cream and a glass of Pol Roger Champagne – enjoy the Festive Season