It’s important to remember, especially at Christmastime, that there is no rule that says you have to make everything yourself. There’s shocking pressure on everyone to be some kind of magical Jamie or Nigella, and I definitely do not subscribe to the idea of putting yourself under that kind of pressure. So buy the mince meat, buy the cranberry sauce, and for heaven’s sake buy the puff pastry!
I do this stuff because I like it, but if you find it all just a bit too stressful or time-consuming, then dump the guilt, and be sure to check out my ‘Cheat’s Range’ of recipes – they’ve been my constant companions (like Mrs Bennett’s nerves!) for many years.
The great thing about these wee mince and cranberry rolls, is that you actually do make them yourself, but they are so simple that it’s virtually no effort at all.
- a baking tray, or two
- non-stick kitchen paper
INGREDIENTS: This recipe usually makes me about 12-16 delicious buns!
- A packet of ready-rolled puff pastry – (I used the reduced fat one for the buns in the picture here)
- Mincemeat – a jar of good-quality bought, or your own home-made.
- Cranberry compote – as above – bought or made.
- 1 egg, and a splash of milk
- Heat the oven to 180 Fan
- Line the baking tray with the non-stick paper
- Carefully unroll the pastry, keeping it on its packaging paper
- Turn it so that the long side is facing you.
- Put a thin layer of mincemeat over the entire sheet of pastry, apart from about 1cm at each of the long ends; make sure it goes right out to the edges at the right and left hand side.
- Put a generous line of the cranberry sauce down the middle of the sheet. As in the picture below:
- Starting with the edge nearest to you, start to roll up the pastry.
- When you get to within a cm or two of the end, wet the clear edge with water, finish rolling up the pastry, and turn the whole thing so that the seam is sealed and on the bottom of the roll.
- Using a sharp knife, start to cut the roll into slices and place them cut side up, about 2cms apart, onto the baking tray.
- Beat the egg gently and add a drop of milk, then paint the buns generously – this gives them a nice golden, slightly shiny finish.
- Pop them onto the middle shelf of the oven and give them about 20 minutes until they’re nicely risen and golden. I find with my oven that I have to turn the trays around about halfway through the cooking time to get them evenly baked.
- Remove and let them cool on the tray
- If you’re feeling fancy, you could drizzle a tiny amount of icing over them when they’re cool. (I don’t usually bother)
- When they’re fully cold, store them in a large air-tight box, with a layer of the non-stick paper between the layers.
- If they’re not iced, they can be reheated, by giving them 5 minutes or so in a medium/hot oven.