Friday, 28 November 2014

Dessert Mashup: Kołaczki Mince Pies (Wheat Free) [Back Dated]

Merry Christmas everyone! This is Sweetie Pie speaking from the future, as I said in my first blog of 2015, I would be back-dating all my Christmas nomnoms, due to not being able to upload them during the Christmas period... this is like Back to the Future in baking form...

Here's another dessert mashup for ye! A blend of a British Isles classic, and a Polish traditional Christmas treat, Kołaczki mince pies!


Kołaczki (said co-watch-key) are little cream cheese pastry parcels filled with plum jam or poppy seed filling, that are formed out of a frilled square of pastry pinched at opposing corners, traditionally eaten in some parts of Poland around Christmas time (although one of my Polish friends had never heard of these, so it must be a regional thing). 



And for those of ye who don't know, mince pies are little shortcrust pastry morsels filled with mincemeat, which is a mixture of dried fruits, grated apple, citrus zest, shredded suet, brandy (or whisky), sugar, and spices. I decided this was the year that I'd mash them together, and they turned out really well.


It's more the shape that I nicked from the kołaczki, but everything else is traditionally mince pie-ish. I didn't use the kołaczki pastry, which is basically equal parts cream cheese and flour with a bit of butter thrown in for good measure, but instead I used something which I like to call "shortbread pastry", which is somewhere between shortbread and shortcrust pastry.

FREE FROM
☑ Soya (check for soya lecithin)
☑ Yeast
☑ Eggs
☑ Wheat

CONTAINS
☒ Dairy (use substitute in italics for dairy free)
☒ Gluten
☒ Refined sugar products

INGREDIMENTS:
  • 12 ounces (340 grammes) plain spelt flour
  • 6 ounces (170 grammes) butter, or margarine, room temperature
  • 2 ounces (55 grammes) icing sugar, or caster sugar
  • Cold water, to bind
  • 1 jar (450 grammes) mincemeat
  • Icing sugar and cinnamon, to decorate

HOW-TO:

  • Preheat oven to 200°c (400°F, Gas Mk. 6) and line baking sheet with non-stick baking paper.
  • In a mixing bowl, beat together the sugar and butter or margarine until smooth and creamy.
  • Sieve in the flour, and then get your hands in and mix it together, rubbing the butter and flour together with your fingertips. It'll get very crumbly.
  • Add in water, about a teaspoon (5 millilitres) at a time, mixing after each spoonful until you have a soft dough. It doesn't need to be chilled.
  • Dust the work surface with flour and roll out the dough to a thickness of a quarter inch (3 millimetres). Using a knife or a fluted pastry wheel, cut the dough into strips about 1½ (4 centimetres) wide vertically and horizontally to make squares. Any squares that are wonky or incomplete can by gathered and re-rolled.
  • Brush the squares with water, then put about a teaspoon of mincemeat into the middle of each square. Pinch the opposite corners together, and make sure to pinch them good and proper; they can fall open in the oven if they're not pinched properly, I've discovered. Alternatively, you can roll them up like tiny wraps.
  • Place on the baking sheet and bake in the centre of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until lightly browned and the mincemeat is beginning to bubble. If you cook them for too long, the mincemeat will run out of the pastry shells and go everywhere, so keep and eye out.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly on the tray before moving to a wire rack to cool. To decorate, dust with a little icing sugar and cinnamon. These are nice warm from the oven, or cold; actually, they're nice however you eat them.

These went down a real storm due to their daintiness, and they are way less hassle than the traditional mince pie, which needs the muffin tin lined with pastry then each one topped with pastry; it's a pain. It seems the Polish had the right idea for making their Christmas treats a little more efficient.

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