By Katherine Frelon
For many of us, the presence of unexpected visitors is a certainty during the holidays. Unexpected visitors can bring added stress to hectic holiday schedules.
No need to fret because with a little advance planning and preparation, you can dazzle your guests with your unwavering hostess skills!
If you are cooking for guests coming to stay over a prolonged period of time, say four days, and you’d like them to think you are the ultimate goddess of house and home, start cooking dishes that you can keep in the freezer. It’s such a good idea and just keeps the place free of washing up too. I always make loads of mini mince pies which can be frozen for up to one month, so when people just drop by I can have some warming in the oven before you can say ‘glass of mulled wine’.
Use a food processor to add all the ingredients apart from the egg. Blitz for a few moments until it forms fine breadcrumbs. Add the eggs to the mixture and pulse the mixture until it forms a ball. Turn out onto a floured surface, roll into a ball, wrap in clingfilm and chill for 45mins to 1 hr. You can freeze it at this stage.
Roll out the pastry and using a suitable pastry cutter cut out discs large enough to line the mini muffin tins. Place a spoonful of mincemeat mixture into the cases. Roll out the marzipan and cut out little stars. Place on top of the mincemeat and bake in a moderate oven until the pastry in golden and the marzipan has coloured. Take carefully out of the tin and cool on a wire rack. Once cool freeze until needed or dust with icing sugar and serve.
Need a little help in the gift department? Be sure to check out my tips on homemade holiday gifts.