Saturday, 7 January 2017

Mincemeat and Cranberry Shortbread Squares

Another outing for the traybake recipe that I consider one of the best I've tried. It's from Sue Lawrence's book 'On Baking'. I regard the dough for this recipe as perfect because it is light and crisp, keeps well and is easily made. The same dough is used for the base and the topping too which is an extra bonus. I haven't tried it with a fresh fruit filling yet, but it's worked really well with the variations of dried fruit fillings that I've tried.

This time I made the filling with a mix of two different mincemeats (it's too long an explanation as to why I had two jars open), and the remains of a small jar of cranberry sauce which had been opened for the Christmas turkey. Because one of the mincemeats was quite sloppy, and I wasn't sure how the cranberry sauce would react to heat, I added half a teaspoon of ground rice to thicken any excess liquid.

270g mincemeat
80g cranberry sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground rice

Shortbread dough:
170g SR flour
170g semolina
170g butter
85g caster sugar

Preheat the oven to 190C and line a 8"(20cm) square shallow baking tin with baking parchment, bringing the parchment up the sides of the tin too.
Mix the filling ingredients together.
In a small pan, melt the butter and sugar together, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Pour the warmed mixture onto the flour and semolina, in a large bowl, and mix in thoroughly with a fork.
Once all the ingredients are well blended, put 2/3 of the crumbly dough into the baking tin. Spread evenly and press down firmly.
Spread  the filling over the base, leaving a small margin around the edges. Crumble the rest of the dough over the top - you don't need to get full coverage, a few gaps are attractive - and press down lightly.
Bake for 25 - 30 minutes until the top is becoming golden brown around the edges.
Mark into squares or fingers while still warm, but cool completely before removing from tin - the squares are very fragile while warm.

Obviously, the flavour of these squares will depend to some extent on the mincemeat used (whether it had alcohol, nuts, lots of spice, unusual ingredients etc). I found that the taste of the cranberry sauce dominated my mincemeat, which made the squares quite tart and fruity.

This recipe is a really quick way of getting something very similar to mincepies, with a lot less work! Leave out the cranberry sauce if you don't have any and increase the mincemeat, or try adding marmalade instead.


Jean said...

These look quite delicious. I love mincemeat, and cranberries in any form and any kind of crumble topping.
Thanks for the recipe!

Snowy said...

What a good idea for using up mincemeat. Looks so good.