Saturday, 26 December 2020

Christmas Baking Review

 Although I love to try different recipes and techniques, because this Stollen is as good as it gets, I have kept exactly to Andrew Whitley's original recipe in Bread Matters. I've been making this each year, and the first time I mentioned this in a post was in 2011.

Andrew Whitley's Christmas Stollen

I baked my Pumpkin Panettone, but with goose eggs rather than hen eggs this year.  I used pistachio and pecan nuts, and the fruit soaked in my Old Mauritian Rhum.  I thought there was a little too much dough, so I made two smaller brioche tinned buns.  The rise was great, but the next morning, when I saw the  panettone cooled, I realised that I ought to have done my usual trick of cooling it upside down,  suspended with long skewers through the base.  We enjoyed that for breakfast on Christmas morning, and it is delicious, and this morning had a slice lightly toasted for a change.

I felt so grateful to have a little encouragement from Mandy on Christmas eve, and asked her to share again with me the recipe for the Ricciarelli Mince Pies she had made this year. We had a conversation about these quite early in the morning, and forwarded that the quantities in the recipe were not quite enough to make the 12.  In the end I tweeked the recipe.I must remember to write down my variation in my recipe book, as when printed from the Good Housekeeping site, it only gave quantities and not method.  I upped the pastry by 50% but doubled up on the Ricciarelli as I fancied some almond petit fours.

With all that is happening with the 'will we have one, or not post Brexit arrangement', families having to plan last minute Christmas meals because of new travel restrictions, etc., too many people were out last minute shopping, and anyway all the Pistachio and other very good Turkish delight was sold out, the Ricciarellis would be my 'chocolates', since now chocolate is nearly top of the list for causing adverse reactions.

The pastry needed a little more water than the recipe even though it had two egg yolks.  Once chilled it handled easily and there was sufficient for twelve standard and twelve mini mincepies.  I also got to play with my wooded pastry pusher.  The mincemeat was my homemade January 2020 vintage one. The 12 minis are in the freezer for later in the week.

My response is why make any others, since these are just perfect!  I'll be using the pastry recipe and the Ricciarelli recipe even if not making mince pies. 


  1. I gave 18 to my Dad and brother, decent sized ones and they had polished 16 of them off in two days! They thoroughly enjoyed them. These will be our go to recipe every year now.

    1. A total seal of approval from your family and ours.