Top 5 Mince Pie Recipes for Christmas

Christmas Mince Pies

In the last year our wonderful Casserole Club Cooks have been sharing extra portions of delicious home cooked food with older Diners in Barnet, Tower Hamlets, and Reigate & Banstead in Surrey.

But after so many meals shared, what if you’re struggling to think of something different to bring your older neighbour when you visit them this Christmas?

Or what if you want a little extra something when you share a meal over the Christmas period?

Never fear, Casserole Club is here!

The traditional mince pie is a great way to celebrate Christmas as a seasonal pudding for a Casserole Club meal share.

Here’s our top 5 mince pie recipes to help you get in the Christmas spirit and share a treat with your neighbour – and make it a very #CasseroleChristmas indeed.

1. Unbelievably easy mince pies

Found on the BBC Good Food website, you can throw the dough around and the mince pies still come out crisp and biscuity in this kid-friendly Christmas recipe.

2. Nigella’s Star-Topped Mince Pies

We’re definitely on #TeamNigella this Christmas, especially after finding this recipe for star-topped mince pies. They are small, to be popped straight into the mouth in one go; the pastry is plain, the better to contrast with the rich, fruited filling; and they have not full casings but little stars as lids, which makes them look beautiful and taste flutteringly light.

3. Vegan Mince Pies

We love the soft, crumbly texture of these mince pies, based on a combination of coconut flour and cashews. Plus you can use any exam jam as a spread. Yum!

4. Delia’s Traditional Mince Pies

The queen of cooking comes to the rescue with her traditional mince pies. A traditional family recipe, Delia says she “will always cherish fond memories of my mother’s and my grandmother’s cooling trays piled high with freshly baked mince pies on Christmas Eve, ready to be packed into tins and brought out whenever friends popped in for Christmas drinks.”

5. Frangipane mince pies

A twist on a Christmas classic from Mary Berry. You will need deep mince-pie tins for these sweet treats.

Want an excuse to try making one of these recipes? Sign up to Casserole Club and find an older neighbour who would love to meet you and try one of your mince pies!

Recipe of the Month: Yummy Mummy Halloween Cake Balls

Are you looking for a scary (but cute) treat to make for your Halloween bash this year? Try these spooky mummy cake balls! At only 102 calories per cake ball (hardly anything when you think of all the yummy goodness that it incorporates) this Halloween treat will be a hit with the kids, as well as the Mums!


Ingredients:

16.5 oz package yellow cake mix

6 oz plain fat-free Greek yogurt

1 cup water

2 large egg whites

Baking spray

48 oz Baker’s white chocolate

Mini chocolate chips for the eyes

1 wooden skewer

Directions:

Preheat oven to 180°C. Lightly spray a the cake pop pan with baking spray.

Combine the cake mix, yogurt, 1 cup water and egg whites in a large mixing bowl and beat until combined. Place the batter into a pastry bag or large ziplock bag with the tip cut off.

Pipe the batter into the prepared cake pop pan and bake about 18 minutes (I rotated the pan after 10 minutes to be sure they baked evenly). Let it rest 5 minutes before opening the pan.

Place the cake balls on a wire rack and repeat with remaining batter. Using a scissor, cut the seam off the balls.

Refrigerate the cake balls for about 45 minutes, this helps the chocolate stick to the cake.

Melt some of the chocolate in the microwave according to package directions, careful not to overheat the chocolate. If it’s too thick add a drop of oil to thin out. Use the wooden skewer and insert into the cake ball, then dip in melted chocolate. Let the excess drip off then place each ball on parchment paper.

Place remaining chocolate into a piping bag and drizzle onto the tops of the balls to make a criss-cross effect to resemble a mummy wrap.

Place the mini chocolate chips over the chocolate for eyes and set aside to dry.

Servings: 48

 

For more tasty treats, check out the Casserole Club Pintrest!  And join Casserole Club to connect and share food with an older neighbour who would appreciate tasting your mini mummies!


Recipe courtesy of SkinnyTaste.com

Recipe Wednesday #8: Rachel’s Mum’s Two Mustard Green Beans

Hello!

We’ve been a bit off with our Recipe Wednesdays recently – apologies!

This week is another from my family archive. Over the weekend I hosted a belated Thanksgiving dinner for some friends – Thanksgiving is one of my all time favourite holidays, because its entirely about sharing food with those nearest and dearest to you – not unlike Casserole!

This green bean side dish is one my mum (or Mom in the States!) used to make all the time growing up, and always reminds me of home. It’s really easy and quick to make and is a great addition to most mains.

Green Beans with Two Mustards

Ingredients: 

Green beans cooked until crisp/tender

lemon juice

Dijon mustard

mustard seed

olive oil

garlic

salt, pepper to taste

 Method: 

In a skillet, heat up about enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan and then a little (you want a fair amount.  The recipe calls for 6 tablespoons, but I found that a bit much, maybe about 4 should do)

Add about 3 tablespoons of mustard seed

When they start to pop out of the pan, remove it from heat

Add the minced or pressed garlic (use a couple of cloves at least) and brown but don’t burn

Set pan aside

In a bowl put about 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard (more or less depending on how mustardy you want it to be)

Add fresh lemon juice and whisk together. (Should be medium consistency)

Add some salt and pepper

Add the olive oil mixture from the pan and whisk together.

Pour over green beans and toss to coat

Can serve hot or room temperature

(The dressing shouldn’t be too thin so watch how much lemon juice to mustard you use.)

Recipe Wednesday #7: Maggie’s Tartiflette

It’s that time of the week again! Sorry we missed you last week, we had a couple people on leave and unfortunately Recipe Wednesday got lost in the mix! But not to worry, we have an extra special recipe this week from one of our loveliest members!

Maggie has been a huge part of Casserole since the relaunch of the pilot last February – a regular Cook in a Pair Up, she has also been a referring machine, and a few weeks can’t go by that we don’t hear from her with a new friend or neighbour who wants to get involved in the service.

Maggie has sent us a recipe for a dish she first had in a little French restaurant in Northeast England. She’s riffed on the original and created her own version of this traditional Alpine dish.

She says, “I haven’t tried this on my Diner Pam, but will ask her if she wants to give it a go!”

Maggie’s Tartiflette

This recipe serves 2, but you can change the proportions as needed.

Ingredients:

500 grammes potatoes, cooked and cut into thin slices.

1 onion, thinly sliced and fried

2 rashers of bacon, chopped and fried with the onions

200 grammes Rebluchon cheese ( Brie will do, apparently !)

clove of garlic, chopped

salt and black pepper

about 100 mls double cream

Method: 
Boil potatoes until done, spread half onto a greased shallow dish, add
onions and bacon mix and top with final layer of potatoes. Season
layers with salt, garlic and black pepper.
Slice cheese and place on top of potatoes. Pour over double cream and
cook in a hot oven until the cheese bubbles and browns. I added a few
browned breadcrumbs to help the browning process.

Recipe Wednesday #6: Nancy’s Roasted Vegetable and Pesto Puff Pastry Tart

This week’s Recipe Wednesday is another favourite from one of our brilliant cooks, Nancy. Nancy’s Diner is mainly vegetarian, so she’s been cooking up some delicious veggie-based dishes for her, with this being one of her quick, simple, but impressive go-to recipes (we get to hear about all the lovely things she cooks and her menu always makes our mouths water!).

It’s best to hear about the dish from Nancy’s own words –

 The recipe is written for a single portion, but can be easily adapted to suit any number of people, either as one large tart or as small individual portions. I have been deliberately vague with the quantity of vegetables, as any leftovers can be used for pasta dishes, salads etc.

…it is a very simple recipe but tastes and looks impressive!

Bon Appétit!

This recipe is perfect if you have a bounty of veg like this!

Roast vegetable and pesto puff pastry tart

Ingredients: 
Drizzle of olive oil, salt & pepper
Selection of vegetables including peppers, red onions, butternut squash, courgettes, cherry tomatoes, leeks, mushrooms…anything you fancy really!
Ready rolled puff pastry, cut to approx. 10cm x 18cm
1 tbsp garlic and herb or plain soft cheese
Handful of grated cheddar or parmesan
1 Dessert spoon of pesto
Beaten egg or milk, to glaze
A few fresh basil leaves
Method:
Pre-heat oven to Gas Mark 6/200C. Chop the vegetables into roughly 1” chunks, arrange in an ovenproof dish and drizzle with the olive oil. Season to taste, then roast for around 30-40 mins until they are soft and golden.

Cut the pastry to the desired size and, with the tip of a sharp knife, score a border 2cm from the edge.

Mix together the soft cheese and pesto, then add most of the grated cheese, reserving some to sprinkle on top. Spread on to the pastry, inside the scored area.

Place the vegetables on top of the cheese mixture.

Glaze the exposed pastry border with the egg or milk, then place in the oven for 20-25mins. 10 minutes before the end of cooking time, remove from oven and sprinkle the reserved cheese on top. Cook until golden brown.

Garnish with the basil leaves and serve with a green salad.

Recipe Wednesday #5: Murtz’s Gran’s Kuku Paka Chicken

This week’s recipe from our very own Project Lead Murtz! He’s the heart behind Casserole, working away to develop, design and grow the service, and can make a mean meal to boot!

This recipe comes from Murtz’s Gran’s stockpile of delicious dishes, and one that Murtz has claimed in the past is his favourite. If you are a vegetarian, I’m sure switching chicken for sweet potatoes, pumpkin, or squash would be a delicious alternative.

So without further ado, take it away Murtz!

My gran’s Kuku Paka chicken

This is a recipe that my gran always cooks for the family, it’s an East African Asian dish and has a mixture of East African flavours like coconut mixed with Asian spices and chillies.

It’s really great with rice and pretty easy to cook for large numbers of people.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 whole chicken; skinned cut in quarters
  • 3 garlic cloves (or garlic paste)
  • 1-2 tablespoons crushed ginger(or ginger paste) (depending on how ginger-y you want it)
  • 3-4 Green chillies (or dried chilli flakes/powder)
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • Medium onion; chopped fine
  • 6 medium potatoes; peeled, and cut into quarters
  • 2 cans of chopped tomatoes
  • Half a teaspoon of turmeric
  • 400 ml of warm water
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • Chopped coriander for garnish
Instructions:

If your chicken is whole, cut it into quarters and add 3 crushed garlic cloves (2 teaspoons of garlic paste) and the ginger, lemon juice, and salt and marinate the chicken for a couple of hours.

In a big pot on the hob, heat up the oil and fry the chopped onions until they are golden, add the chicken and cook for around 10 minutes. Add in the chopped tomatoes and mix it all up.

Add in the potatoes to the pot with the turmeric and cook it for another 5 minutes.

Add in the warm water and put the lid on to simmer for 15 minutes.

Finally add in the coconut milk and let it simmer for a final 10 minutes.

When serving add on some freshly chopped coriander and serve with rice.

Recipe Wednesday #4: Val’s Homemade Lasagna

This week’s Recipe Wednesday comes from Casserole member Val. She sent us this “Completely Homemade Lasagna” recipe, which even shows you how to make the pasta yourself! Considering the dreary fog we’ve been having in London recently, this recipe is much needed, pure comfort food. Thanks for sending it over Val!

If you want your recipe featured in Recipe Wednesday, send it to hello[at]casseroleclub.com with a little bit about why you chose that particular recipe and a photo if you have one! 

Without further ado – Buono Appetito!

Val’s Completely Homemade Lasagne

Ingredients

(for the pasta)

200g ‘00’ grade flour

2 x large eggs

1 tbsp of lukewarm water

(for the Bolognese) – to be fair, I like to make the Bolognese the day before my lasagne so that all the flavours merge beautifully.

1 tblsp extra virgin olive oil

200g pack of turkey mince meat (you can substitute the turkey mince for any you like or even adapt to vegetarian)

2 tins chopped tomato

Garlic (as much or little as you dare)

1 x onion

500g mushrooms

1 x pepper (I use a green one, but any will do)

A large glass of red wine

A little vegetable stock

3 x heaped tablespoons of mixed herbs (oregano, rosemary & basil)

(cheese sauce) – to be honest I cheat

White sauce granules

Cheese to flavour

200ml water

 Directions:

1.       Make up the pasta, gently folding in the eggs with the flour, add water then knead for 3-4 minutes until you get a firm dough; wrap this in cling film and leave in the fridge for approximately ½ hour.

2.       Now for the sauce, chop up your vegetables as finely or chunky as you wish; heat up your oil and add your garlic

3.       Drop in the onions and sweat them off until they become transparent

4.       Brown off your mincemeat and add in the wine, tomato, herbs and stock

5.       Drop in your peppers and mushrooms and leave until thickened, then prepare your cheese sauce

6.       Take out the pasta dough from the fridge, take off a ball and wrap the rest in a damp towel to prevent it drying out whilst you roll out (or if you have one, pass through your pasta machine) until around 1 playing card thick and then cut into a square large enough for your dish

7.       Layer cheese sauce, Bolognese sauce, pasta sheet (repeat as you make additional sheets of pasta)

8.       When your lasagne has been constructed (I like 3 layers on mine), sprinkle cheese on top of the last layer of cheese sauce and bake in the oven on 200c for around ¾ hour (longer if the sauces have been left to go cold), until the dish is cooked through and your cheese has left a lovely brown layer on top

9.       ENJOY