Well it’s nearly Christmas so I’ve somewhat dropped the healthy Mediterranean diet and have reverted to traditional British food until the end of the year.

We had tree surgeons here today to take care of some dead trees and to remove some branches on the healthier ones. And they were hungry so I set to doing some easy baking. Everyone loves mince pies and sausage rolls and they’re simple to make when you have puff pastry in the fridge. I used a pack of quality sausages, removed the skins and simply shaped the sausage meat. Then I unrolled the pastry and rolled it round the meat.  Baked at around 220 degrees and voila!  Lovely warm sausage rolls to keep the hungriest tree surgeon in Birmingham happy.

Mince pies are so traditional at Christmas. Way back when mincemeat was first invented – probably 500 years ago – it actually contained meat. It also contained currants and other fruits but I’m not sure whether it was eaten as a savoury pie or a sweet one. Over the years I must have eaten hundreds, some with shortcrust pastry and some with puff pastry.  I love the flakiness of puff but only when they’re fresh because they do tend to go soft after a while, unless you heat them up again.

Either type of pie stays fresh for quite a while, but when I make them this long before Christmas I put them in the freezer.  In this case there weren’t many left after we’d all tucked in!

Mince pies are equally easy to make when you use magic pastry so we all enjoyed them when the tree removal was complete. The tree guys did an awesome job so we were very happy to reward them with these tasty treats.



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