November means that we are one step closer to Christmas and at Higgidy, we’re ready to feel a little bit festive.
As we get nearer to the big day, we’re celebrating ingredients that we love cooking with at this time of year. This month, we’re enjoying sweet and vibrant cranberries (used in our Pork & Cranberry Sausage Rolls, the perfect winter nibbles) and today we’ve got three brilliant recipes for you to get stuck into.
This recipe is quick and easy and goes down a treat with any festive feasts. Simply find a few empty jam jars to fill and you’ve got your very own supply ready for all your winter roasts. You can even make extra to pop in Christmas gift hampers for friends and family.
This recipe can be kept in the fridge for up to a week - or if you want to get ahead for Christmas, frozen for up to one month.
250g fresh cranberries (or frozen will work well too)
Juice from 2 oranges - (100ml)
100g soft brown or light muscovado sugar
1 Cinnamon stick
Zest of 1 of the oranges
Optional – add port or Cointreau for an adult twist (1-2 tbsp)
1. Pour 100g sugar and 100ml of orange juice into a pan and bring to the boil.
2. Add the cranberries, cinnamon stick and orange zest. Stir frequently and simmer until cranberries are tender with some still holding their shape – this will take about 5 minutes if using frozen cranberries or up to 10 minutes if using fresh ones.
3. The sauce will thicken as it cools. Tip it into a container and pop It in the fridge for up to 1 week. Be sure to bring to room temperature before serving.
Christmas Cranberry Crackers
These crackers are perfect treats to enjoy making and eating this festive season. You can vary the recipe as you wish by adding spices, ginger, raisins, or apricots. For the adults, these are fun to serve with little cups of espresso post-dinnertime or even with an indulgent, lightly sweetened whisky cream for dipping.
Makes 12 crackers
Finely grated zest and juice of one large orange
100g cream cheese
50g ground almonds
1 egg yolk
60g dried cranberries
25g icing sugar
For the crackers
1 pack filo pastry, approx. 270g
50g melted butter
1. Begin by soaking your cranberries in the orange juice for 30 minutes. This will encourage them to plump up.
2. Next make the filling. Strain the cranberries, place in a large bowl and discard the juice. Simply add all the filling ingredients and give the mixture a good stir. Chill for a minimum of 30 minutes before using. When you are ready to assemble preheat the oven to 180C/fan160C/gas 6.
3. Cut your filo into 11 x 18 cm rectangles. Brush one filo rectangle with melted butter and top with a second piece of filo. Dollop a good teaspoon of filling in the centre of each rectangle and brush around the filling with a little more butter. Then wrap up as if you were wrapping a sweet (a word of caution, don’t wrap too tight, the filling will expand on cooking and burst the seams), squeeze the pastry together about 3cm in from each edge. Continue until the entire filling and all the pastry is used up.
4. Arrange on a non-stick baking tray, brush with a little more butter and bake for 15 - 20 minutes until the filo is crispy and golden.
Cranberry and Orange Gluten Free Mince Pies
This recipe puts a Higgidy twist on the classic Mince Pie and what’s more, they’re gluten free! These are bound to get family and friends in the mood for Christmas and make small yet delicious gifts for any neighbours who have gone above and beyond this year.
Equipment: 1 x 12-hole shallow bun tin
For the pastry:
1 x quantity of gluten-free pastry
Grated zest of 1 orange
A little gluten-free flour for dusting
For the filling:
350g gluten-free mincemeat
55g dried cranberries
For the cream topping:
450ml double cream
30g icing sugar
Freeze-dried cranberry or raspberry powder
1. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to about 2mm thick. Cut out twelve 8cm pastry circles (plain or fluted) and press them gently into the bun tins. Return to the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. With the remaining pastry, cut some pastry stars and place on a baking sheet lined with nonstick baking paper.
2. Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan 170°C/gas mark 5. Measure the mincemeat into a bowl and stir in the dried cranberries and, if you like, a little orange zest to zhoosh things up a bit. Spoon the mix into your pastry cases: it should reach about three-quarters of the way up the sides.
3. Transfer the tarts to a shelf in the centre of the oven and place the pastry stars on the shelf below. Bake the stars for about 12 minutes or until golden brown. Bake the tarts for around 25 minutes – again, the pastry should be nice and golden. Allow to cool completely and remove from the bun tins.
6. Using an electric hand whisk, whip the double cream with the icing sugar until it has just reached the soft peaks stage. Top each cooled mince pie with a generous dollop of double cream, sprinkle with cranberry powder, and push a pastry star into the cream. Serve immediately.
We hope that you’ll enjoy making these cranberry-creations in your own kitchen, whether you make them over a zoom call with your family or friends, or with the little ones at the weekend. As always, we’d love to see how you get on, so do tag us on social @higgidy or pop us an email to thekitchenhiggidy.co.uk.