Aaron is off work now and his dad and step mum have arrived from Australia to stay. My mum will be arriving on Wednesday and my dad will turn up some time this week. The kids are getting very excited opening their advent calendars and counting down the days.
We've planned our Christmas menu and are planning on hitting the shops tomorrow to buy the rest of what we need. We want to make it as relaxing as we can on the day, so we plan on having a BBQ - which means men do the cooking :) (hopefully no rain showers!) and pretty much all the food preparation can be completed on Christmas Eve, so hopefully lots of feet up sipping cold drinks is on the agenda!
The kids and I made these Christmas tarts last week, we've gobbled up quite a few, but there are still some tucked away in the freezer. I'm also going to make a paleo style Christmas cake this week. It's nice to be able to enjoy these festive foodie traditions even when you don't eat gluten, grains or sugar.
:: Christmas Fruit Mince Tarts - gluten, grain and refined sugar free ::Pastry
1/2 cup whole raw almonds
1/2 cup almond flour
1 cup tapioca flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold butter, diced (or coconut oil)
1 tsp honey
Process the whole almonds until like breadcrumbs, add the almond flour and tapioca flour and pulse until mixed. Add the diced butter and blitz. Lastly add the egg and honey and pulse till well combined. It will be quite sticky but we just pulled pieces off and pressed them into our tart tin. You can chill it a bit to firm it up and make it easier to handle, but don't chill too long or it will be hard as rock :).
(This made lots so we have had enough to make a few batches. Keeps for ages in the fridge.)
1/2 cup dates
1 cup raisins
1 cup sultanas
1/2 cup currants
1/3 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup preserved or crystallised ginger
2 apples peeled and quartered
1/2 cup almonds
Zest of 1 large lemon
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp brandy or brandy essence
Basically just throw everything into your blender and blitz it until it's all combined and sticky.
Brush your tart tin well with coconut oil and then press the pastry dough into it. Top with fruit mince. Roll some of the pastry out with lots of tapioca flour to stop it sticking and then cut into stars with a cookie cutter. Press yours stars down lighting onto each tart. Brush the tops with a little egg white if you wish.
Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for about 15 mins or until lightly browned.