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Sue Hamilton's mince recipes - 23 November

Turkey loaf from cranberry sauce

Christmas mince pies

Turkey Loaf with Cranberry Sauce

Minced turkey makes for a slightly flasher meatloaf - perfect for a special occasion. Combined with fresh courgettes, this has a subtle, delicious flavour. Served topped with festive cranberries and prepared with a little fuss and flair, this very simple meatloaf can easily take the place of a labour-intensive turkey dinner. Serves 6-8.

1 tbsp olive oil
2 medium red onions, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
500 g turkey mince,preferably breast meat
(can substitute with chicken mince)
1 cup grated courgette
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
leaves of 3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup cranberry sauce or jelly


Preheat oven to 180degC.

Heat oil in a large saucepan and gently cook onions and garlic over a moderate heat until softened. Cool and then combine with all other ingredients (except cranberry sauce or jelly), mixing well with clean hands.

Turn mixture into a lightly oiled meatloaf tin and press down firmly to fill dish. Cover with tin foil and bake in oven for 45 minutes or until loaf is firm to the touch. Remove tin foil and top with cranberry sauce or jelly. Let it stand in pan for 5-10 minutes before serving. Retain some cranberry sauce to pour over the moist, delicious and oh-so-easy turkey. You can use a sharp cookie cutter to make round stacks for celebration dining.

Christmas Mince Pies

When we first conceived of Minced there were a lot of private jokes about what we could include, but there's absolutely no way we could leave these little morsels of rich, sweet minced fruit off the list. Of course, you can buy Christmas mince pies everywhere but it's just not the same. They make a gorgeous handmade gift as well. This recipe takes at least 24 hours - but it's worth the wait!

Makes approximately 40

1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp brandy
1 green apple, peeled and grated
1/2 cup raisins, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup currants
1/2 cup dried cranberries (for an extra tang)
1/2 cup sultanas
1/4 cup preserved ginger, finely chopped
4 tbsp orange marmalade
1/4 tsp mixed spice
4 cups plain flour
1/2 cup icing sugar
300 g chilled butter, chopped
2 egg yolks
4-5 tbsp water

Combine all filling ingredients in a bowl. Cover and set aside somewhere cool for at least 24 hours. Stir from time to time.

To make pastry, process flour, icing sugar and butter until mixture is crumbly. If you do not have a food processor, simply rub in butter by hand until you have the same texture. Add egg yolks and water, and process until the dough just comes together.

Remove the dough, cover with cling film and chill for at least 15 minutes.

When you are ready to make up the pies, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.

Preheat oven to 180degC.

Roll out about two-thirds of pastry between two sheets of baking paper until 3 mm thick. Use a round 6.5 cm cookie cutter to cut 40 discs from pastry. Line patty tray with discs.

Roll rest of pastry and cut lids for each pie, using a smaller 5 cm cutter. Spoon a heaped teaspoon of the fruit into each pastry case. Top with pastry discs.

Bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and leave for 15-20 minutes before putting pies on a wire rack to cool. If you can't resist them, they are delicious hot from the oven, but be careful! If wished, dust pies with icing sugar for the perfect finishing touch.