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Mince pies bake day webchat with Dan Lepard, 29 November, 1-2pm

(103 Posts)
GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 25-Nov-11 16:42:55

Continuing our season of Christmas cookery webchats (Delia was first), we're delighted to announce that Dan Lepard will be joining us to chat about Christmas baking on Tues 29 Nov at 1pm.

Dan has kindly allowed us to share with Mumsnetters his mincemeat recipe and to make mince pies, his easy sweet shortcrust pastry and his gluten-free pastry recipes, all from his latest book, Short & Sweet, The Best of Home Baking.

This will be Dan's third visit to Mumsnet and, like we've done previously, we'll do a 'here's one we made earlier' and film Dan making his mince pies and upload the film post-webchat.

Do join him, or post any questions you've got about Christmas baking in advance.

ledkr Mon 28-Nov-11 16:15:23

Dan,my family hate xmas fruit cake but like marzipan and icing.Id love to make an xmas cake of some sort with my daughter who is 9 and i wondered if you can suggest anything for me.

senua Mon 28-Nov-11 18:54:10

Oh dear. I have already made my (Delia) mincemeat. However after the fab recipe that you gave us on your hot cross bun webchat, I might be tempted to give this a go.
Sorry I can't be there tomorrow. Enjoy yourselves!

DanLepard Tue 29-Nov-11 06:51:43

Here we are, up early and getting ready for today. I'll answer a few Q's before I set off.

And CMOTdibbler, thousandDenier, MmeLindorm, MayaAngelCool, midnightexpress, senua: thanks for getting in early!

DanLepard Tue 29-Nov-11 06:52:22

Kveta: a light sweet fruited bread called vanocka. have you ever made one? And do you have a good stollen recipe

Kveta, I haven’t made Vánocka - had to look it up on wiki - so that’s an idea for next Christmas. Stollen is easier: check out the Guardian website (also, there’s a stollen bar/traybake coming up this Sat that’s very good)

DanLepard Tue 29-Nov-11 06:52:47

PrettyCandles: two of my dc are dairy intolerant: what is the best butter-replacement, and should I use a different recipe?

Sainsburys has one in a gold foil pack just called “Baking” - I don’t think they’re allowed to call it margarine - that tastes very good. Haven’t tried inmysparetime’s suggestion of vitalite dairy-free, will check it out.

DanLepard Tue 29-Nov-11 06:53:12

crikeybadger: there seems to be quite a bit of brandy in it (not complaining). Is it supposed to have just one amount? Also, can this mincemeat just be put in to a container and frozen or is it better in jars?

This particular recipe on Mumsnet is a quick one - the cookingn imitates the soting that would happen over time - so yes, all the brandy is added as once. It can be frozen, but it will be a little softer when it defrosts.

DanLepard Tue 29-Nov-11 06:54:33

breatheslowly: the mincemeat has bubbled up, overflowed and welded some of them to the tin. Am I just overfilling them?

Possibly, but oven too low. Hotter oven, so that the pastry turns golden before the filling is too hot.

DanLepard Tue 29-Nov-11 06:55:01

bagelmonkey: best way to make mince pies in advance for freezing & serving later. And how best to reheat from frozen?

Don’t overbake - use a hot oven and take them out before the filling is boiling, this will make removing them from the tin easier - then freeze on a tray lined with non-stick paper then - when frozen - pack in a plastic container in layers, with sheets of non-stick between each. Defrost on a tray an hour before needed then bake at 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/gas 4 for 15 minutes to serve.

DanLepard Tue 29-Nov-11 06:55:46

missorinoco: for your pastry, do you use block butter, or can I use good quality spreadable, can I bung it in my food mixer?

Taffeta: I use a food processor and the pastry is always light and crumbly.

You have to use block butter for this recipe but yes, bung it in the food processor with the butter cut into small pieces. At the Guardian I get emails from readers complaining if I rely on a food processor, but yes, it’s much quicker and produces a perfect result

DanLepard Tue 29-Nov-11 06:56:07

painterly: a less fatty pastry/more of a dough type outer. Have you tried anything like that?

Yes, search on the Guardian website for “Pigs in Duvets” - a soft dough to use around sausages etc

DanLepard Tue 29-Nov-11 06:56:35

NettoSuperstar: don't have a sweet tooth, recommend a nice festive savoury baking recipe?

kreecherlivesupstairs: Savoury recipes here too. Something cheesy would be good, meat is permissible (no known vegetarians)

Use a regular shortcrust pastry, without the sugar, and fill it with cooked turkey held together with a little pasta sauce, chopped drained mozzarella and green olives: voila, Christmas colour!

DanLepard Tue 29-Nov-11 06:57:07

ppeatfruit: have you any surefire ways of making good pastry with my non mainstream ingredients?

On the Guardian website look for vegan pasties: it uses a “puff” pastry made by rolling an olive oil dough with a plain one. Now, if you substitute your spelt and kamut mix for the white flour, it should taste very good. Use a little baking powder in a pastry: 200g kamut/spelt, 50g oil, 1/4 tsp baking powder, 2 yolks, plus salt or honey to sweeten, and water to mix to a pliable dough. Leave out egg white as it makes it too tough.

DanLepard Tue 29-Nov-11 06:57:34

BadTasteFlump: low carbs mince pie

Make filo parcels: just two layers brushed with butter inbetween, spoon in a mixture of mincemeat (perhaps the recipe here sweetened with a little Splenda), with orange juice in place of alcohol) stirred with extra spice and fresh chopped apple, and then stop with a small spoonful of low-fat cream cheese (sweetened with a little Splenda)
Roll up, brush with a little butter, bake then dust lightly with icing sugar

DanLepard Tue 29-Nov-11 06:58:09

ledkr: family hate xmas fruit cake but like marzipan and icing. love to make an xmas cake of some sort with my daughter

I’d check out this stollen bar at the weekend in the Guardian.

PrettyCandles Tue 29-Nov-11 07:19:22

Ooo, thank you for the early reply, perfect timing as I'm going right past Sainsbo's today!

MmeLindor. Tue 29-Nov-11 09:27:31

Similar to Dan's recipe - I made little pies last year with turkey and cranberry sauce filling. They were really yummy.

I have influenza plague a bad cold but will try to get into the kitchen and join in later.

MmeLindor's bake day, sponsored by Lemsip.

kreechergotstuckupthechimney Tue 29-Nov-11 09:36:04

Oooh, I can imagine the looks I'd get if I took those little treats into DDs school. We are already exotic.
Get well soon Mme, I am thinking yours might go down better with the children, given the Greggs demographic. I could keep it cold at home and take it in so it doesn't feser.

coolascucumber Tue 29-Nov-11 09:37:24

I used to have a recipe for mince pies that included ground almonds in the pastry. I've lost it and can't seem to get the proportions right when guestimating - can you help me re-create my "perfect" mince pies. Feel like Proust forever remembering madeleines mince pies from my past...

breatheslowly Tue 29-Nov-11 10:22:10

Thank you - that makes sense.

CatherineHMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 29-Nov-11 10:30:09

Just to let you know Dan's been super efficient, answering a few questions ahead of the live web chat.

Right now, he's currently over at CarrieMumsnet's place, where they're filming the mince pie baking but he'll be heading over to MNHQ afterwards for the webchat at 1pm as billed.

Solo Tue 29-Nov-11 10:35:29

Gosh! he's keen. <impressed!>

Kveta Tue 29-Nov-11 11:03:24

ooh, I am looking forward to the Grauniad this weekend then!

sandy06 Tue 29-Nov-11 11:25:51

hi, do you have a GF shortbread recipe? Thank you

missorinoco Tue 29-Nov-11 12:57:59

Fantastic, impressed with the pre-emptive answer. Off work with a sick child, so I have time to sneak in another question.

Dan, I made your pastry at the weekend and it was divine. Already made the mincemeat from a {whisper} Delia recipe. I rolled it out as per some other instructions to the width of my little finger and it was the mince pie equivalent of builders' tea!

What do you suggest?

TIA, and once again that pastry was amazing, thanks.

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 29-Nov-11 12:59:40

Hello, we're back in MN Towers, and Dan's just about to start his webchat. The mince pies Dan made have already all gone.

If you're going to attempt any mince pie baking during the webchat, please let us know, so Dan can help if you need advice.

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