I was checking through some of the magazines and books I have for Christmas recipes and came across this one, a Rum & Raisin Christmas Tree. I adapted the recipe from Donna Hay The Perfect Christmas Magazine Dec/Jan 2014. It is a twist on a mince pie, with the pastry being in the shape of Christmas Trees and a rum and raisin filling.
The mixing part is really easy, just put pastry ingredients in food processor and mix.
With plenty and I mean plenty of flour on your bench bring dough together and then cut into two portions. Wrap each individually and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
Whilst the pastry is chilling, it is time to make the filling, and I forgot to take pictures of this, but it is quite easy. I ended up cooking mine for more than the suggested 8 minutes as I felt it was still too runny.
Rolling the pastry out after being refrigerated certainly took a great deal of patience as it is extremely soft. Using more flour on the work bench and rolling pin definitely helped. Because I replaced 1/3 cup of plain flour in the pastry mix with almond flour I might have been my own ‘worst enemy’, and made it more difficult to handle.
When using cutter to show tree shape do not press very hard into the pastry, this one is a little heavier than it should be. Place a small amount of the filling in the middle of the tree shape, ready for the top pastry to go on.
I made a few with the only tree cut out that I could find and I felt it was far too small. I managed to find another which was slightly larger, and this made it much easier all together. I would suggest the larger the tree cutter the better and easier it would be to make.
It is easier to peel the pastry from around the tree cutter and then pick up the filled pastry and place it onto the baking paper lined pastry tray.
The finished baked trees cooling on the trays and they have been dusted with icing sugar.
Ready to eat. YUM!!!
The “proof is definitely in the pudding” and even my grandson gave them the “thumbs up”. A very clever concept. I guess you could use the same idea but fill them with minced meat mixture instead.
As happy as I am with the final result I don’t think they would be something I would rush to make again. They are time consuming and fiddly. However I don’t regret making them. Now to find something else to make in the lead up to Christmas.
- 2-2/3 cups (400g) plain flour ( I used 2-1/3 cups + 1/3 almond flour)
- 300g cold unsalted butter, chopped
- 1/2 cup (90g) brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- icing (confectioners) sugar for dusting
- Rum And Raisin Filling
- 1/2 cup (125ml) water
- 1/2 cup (90g) brown sugar
- 1 cup (150g) raisins
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 30g unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons dark rum
- Cover baking trays with non-stick paper.
- Put flour, butter, brown sugar, ginger and cinnamon in a food processor, and process until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
- Add the eggs and vanilla and process until the dough comes together.
- On a well floured surface, bring dough together.
- Divide into 2 portions, flatten slightly and cover in plastic wrap.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- In a saucepan, put water, brown sugar, raisins, vanilla and butter. Bring to the boil.
- Turn stove down, and simmer for about 8 minutes or until thickened.
- Put in bowl and refrigerate until cold.
- Add rum and mix to combine.
- Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF).
- On a very well floured surface roll out 1 portion of the dough to 3mm thick. Do the same with the second one.
- Using a cutter, lightly (very) make an imprint on one of the dough portions.
- Place a small amount of filling in the centre of the tree.
- Brush over the dough and filling lightly with water.
- Cover with other dough, and press lightly to seal.
- Using cookie tree cutter cut out the filled trees, and place on baking tray.
- Any left over pastry, re-roll and repeat filling process.
- Use a small knife to put slits into the top of the cookie.
- Bake 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Let cool on tray, and then remove and place on cooling rack.
- Dust with icing if you want.
- The number of biscuits will depend on the size of the cutter you have. The larger the cutter the easier to handle.
- Once the filling has been used up, any remaining dough can be cut into shapes for biscuits.