Eunice Power - Outside Catering Company, Waterford, Ireland.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Mincemeat And Almond Shortbread


For the base
175g chilled butter, diced
75g caster sugar
150g plain flour (gluten-free flour can be substituted here)
1 tsp baking powder
100g ground almonds
4 medium eggs separated

For the topping
450g mincemeat
100g flaked almonds
Icing sugar for dusting

  1. If you find pastry difficult to make or just don’t like making it you will love this recipe. A buttery, almond base, topped with delicious mincemeat and crunchy almonds. A good quality mincemeat is paramount to the success and flavour.
  2. Line a 20x23cm baking tin. Preheat your oven to 160 degrees/gas 3.
  3. Separate the eggs.
  4. For the base: blitz the butter, flour, baking powder, ground almonds and sugar in a food processor until the mix achieves a crumb like consistency. Add in the egg yolks and mix well until you get a sticky dough.
  5. Press the dough into the base of the prepared tin (I usually place parchment paper over the top and press and smooth the dough with my fingers or the back of a spoon). Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden - it will rise slightly.
  6. For the topping: whisk the egg whites until stiff in a clean stainless steel bowl, fold in the mincemeat and half the almonds. Smooth this mixture over the almond base and scatter the remaining almonds on top.
  7. Return to the oven and bake for another 20-25 minutes until the mixture is a light golden colour. Allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes then transfer to a wire rack, peeling the paper off the base.
  8. Cut in 12 squares, dust with icing sugar before serving. This will keep for several days in a tin.
Photography: Shane O’Neill
Food Styling: Leona Humphreys, One Fine Plate


Last-minute Orange Sultana Cake

Juice and rind (grated) of an orange
650g sultanas
7 tbsp brandy
215g butter, at room temperature
215g caster sugar
4 eggs
215g strong white flour
Pinch of baking powder
1 level tsp ground nutmegIcing 160g icing sugar
2 Tablespoons of orange juice

  1. If you didn’t get around to making a Christmas cake (or if you have sold all your Christmas cakes . . . of which I am guilty), but like having a fruit cake in the tin for Christmas – this is for you.
  2. Combined the orange juice and rind, sultanas and brandy and soak overnight in a sealed container. Cream the butter and sugar until white and creamy and then beat in the eggs one at a time. Fold in sifted flour, nutmeg and baking powder, taking care not to over-mix. Mix in the fruit.
  3. Bake in a 23cm/ 9in round cake tin, or two loaf tins, which have been lined with greaseproof paper. The large cake will take two and a half to three hours at 160-150 degrees/gas 3/2, depending on your oven, and the smaller cakes will take less time. Make icing by sieving the icing sugar and stir in the orange juice - drizzle over the cake when it is cold.
Photography: Shane O’Neill
Food Styling: Leona Humphreys, One Fine Plate


Christmas Pudding Custard Pie


For the pastry
175g plain flour, sifted
50g icing sugar
100g very cold butter, cut into cubes
1 egg yolk, plus a tbsp of iced water

For the filling
454g/1lb Christmas pudding
2 large free range eggs, plus two extra yolks
75g caster sugar
450ml cream
Half a vanilla pod (split lengthways and seeds scraped out)

  1. An all-in-one Christmas pud and custard in a tart. Served with a large dollop of cream as an absolutely delicious dessert for Christmas day as well as an excellent way to tart up left over Christmas pudding – pardon the pun!
  2. Lightly butter a 23cm/9in tart tin and put it in the fridge. Put the flour, and icing sugar in a food processor and aerate with a couple of quick on/off pulses. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and some water (if necessary) and process until the pastry just draws together.
  3. Turn it out on to a lightly floured work surface and knead briefly to form a flat round. Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill for at least 20 minutes before rolling out. Chill the tart tin, too.
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees/gas 5. Roll the pastry out to a round at least five centimetres (two inches) larger than the tin. Wrap the pastry around the rolling pin, lift into place and unroll loosely over the tin. Gently lift and press the pastry into the tin to line, then roll the rolling pin over the top of the tin to trim off the excess pastry.
  5. Line the chilled pastry case with baking parchment, fill with baking beans and bake for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the beans and paper and cook for another 10 minutes or a little longer, until it is a light biscuit brown colour.
  6. Turn down the oven temperature to 140 degrees/gas 1.
  7. For the filling: break up the Christmas pudding into chunks and spread over the base of the tart. Whisk the two whole eggs, the extra yolks and the sugar in a heatproof bowl over simmering water, with a metal whisk, until smooth. Set aside.
  8. Put the cream into a medium saucepan. Stir the split vanilla pod and seeds into the cream. Heat the liquid gently until hot but not boiling, stirring regularly. Slowly stir this into the egg mixture until thoroughly combined. Pour the custard into the pastry case. Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes, or until only just set. The custard should still be fairly wobbly in the middle, as it will continue to set as it cools.
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before cutting and serving. Serve with softly whipped cream.
Photography: Shane O’Neill
Food Styling: Leona Humphreys, One Fine Plate