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A Cornish Christmas Recipe from Philleigh Way

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Cooking and Christmas go together like gin and tonic and we love to get messy in the kitchen in the run up to the festive season. We asked our friends at the very wonderful Philleigh Way cookery school on the Roseland peninsula to share a favourite festive recipe and they did just that — plus the bonus of their Christmassy way with Cornish Cider. Thank you Rupert & Co….!

By the way, we love Philleigh Way, so this is our chance to big them up (as they say). It’s a small, friendly and top class cookery school offering great one-day classes in everything for ‘proper’ Cornish to Asian, Italian, charcuterie, baking, and jam-making… need we go on? Well yes, they also run food-fired feast evenings in summer. We’ve done pasty making and Indian with the school and have got a whole lot better at both as a result.

The Christmas photos on this post were all shot in Courtyard Cottage at Port Gaverne one wintery day in a past December. We didn’t want the photo-shoot to end.

• P H I L L E I G H  • W A Y  •  F E S T I V E  •  R E C I P E S •

Cornish Fairing mince pie

1 large jar mincemeat (about 600g)
2 satsumas, segmented
1 apple finely chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
Splash of rum
A little icing sugar, for dusting

For the pastry…

375g plain flour
260g unsalted butter, softened
125g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground all spice
1 large egg plus 1 beaten egg for glazing


Place 375g plain flour and 260g softened unsalted butter in a bowl and rub together to a crumb consistency.
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Add ginger, all spice, 125g caster sugar and 1 large beaten egg, and mix together.
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Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and fold until the pastry comes together, be careful not to over mix.
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Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill for 10 mins.
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Scoop the large jar of mincemeat into a bowl and add 2 segmented satsumas, 1 finely chopped apple, splash of rum and zest of 1 lemon.
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Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7.
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Roll out the pastry to 3mm thick.
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Using a round cutter (about 10cm), cut out 16 bases and place them into muffin trays. Put 1½ tbsp mincemeat mixture into each. Brush the edge of each pie with a little beaten egg.
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Re-roll out the pastry to cut 7cm lids and press them on top to seal. Glaze with the beaten egg, sprinkle with the extra caster sugar, then make a small cut in the tops.
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Bake the mince pies for 15-20 mins until golden brown. Leave to cool before releasing them from the muffin trays and dusting with a little more icing sugar before serving.

Rattler mulled cider 

1½ litre Rattler Cider
7 tbsp Calvados/Apple brandy/Brandy
400ml apple juice
75g dark brown sugar
zest 1 orange pared into strips
4 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
1 tbsp allspice berries
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Pour the cider, Calvados, apple juice and sugar into a large saucepan, and gently heat to mull.
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Add the orange zest and spices, bring to a simmer, then turn down and keep on a low heat for 20-30 mins.
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Ladle into glass mugs to serve.

• H A P P Y  • C H R I S T M A S  •

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