Most of the Christmas leftovers have been dealt with by now. The last slice of ham, a few chunks of turkey and half a dozen chestnuts, together with a few mushrooms, in a mustard-y cream and white wine sauce, made a very tasty pie. What hasn't been eaten has been packed into the freezer, hopefully to make pies and curries over the next few weeks, and not just forgotten about. However, I am also determined not to leave too many half-used jars and packets of seasonal ingredients lurking about, as by springtime I'm past the point of wanting to eat things like mincepies and cranberry sauce.
Allow me a slight digression here - have you noticed that cream cheese is sold in 280g packs now, and not 300g? Luckily I was using a modern cheesecake recipe which took account of that, but many of my older recipes use multiples of 300g, so leftovers are inevitable, even if buying smaller packs, which are proportionally more expensive, to make up the weight.
Even so, as a result of scaling down a cream cheese frosting recipe, I was left with around half a pack of cream cheese and happened to read this recipe at Belleau Kitchen for a delicious sounding pastry using cream cheese, orange zest and ground almonds. It seemed perfect for the 'leftovers' fruit pie that I had decided to make. I made a slight adaptation to the recipe - I reduced the sugar to 50g and used icing sugar (which I think is incorporated more easily into pastry), and also used the zest of a small orange instead of a clementine, but otherwise I followed Dom's recipe, which originates from Dan Lepard's 'Short and Sweet'.
For the filling I mixed together:
200g of mincemeat
roughly 125g of a good quality cranberry sauce (over 50% fruit)
two eating apples, peeled and cored and cut into small dice
80g of ready-to-eat dried dates, snipped into small pieces
1 teaspoon of ground rice to absorb excess fruit juices
I put the filling into the unbaked pie case, and placed the pre-made lattice on top. The excess pastry around the top of the pie case was folded over the edges of the lattice to seal the base and lattice together. The top was brushed with beaten egg white and sprinkled with caster sugar and the pie was baked at 180C for about 40 minutes until golden brown.