I always used to make mince pies with my Nan. I used to watch her make the pastry by hand, endlessly folding the pastry into thirds and dotting each third with a mix of butter and shortening. She would roll the pastry out neither too thick nor thin and it would be my job to use a fluted cutter to stamp out the rounds.
My most vivid memories of baking tend to revolve around my Nan. She’s a good teacher, and if I'm honest, the most influential figure in my love of baking. As soon as I could hold a wooden spoon in my hand and stir ingredients in her huge baking jug, I was scooped up on to the counter and my baking days began.
As soon as I could hold a wooden spoon in my hand, my baking days began with my Nan. The highlight of our baking calendar was the Christmas cake, partly because of the comforting scent of warm spices and brandy filling the air and partly because we loved to go to town decorating the cake with snowy royal icing and kitsch Christmas trinkets. If you'd like to read more about my baking days with my Nan, I've written a nostalgic post about them here. Cake Ingredients Makes two 20cm cakes 1361g (3lbs) dried fruit 127g (4.5oz) glace cherries 85g (3oz) flaked almonds 170g (6oz) candied peel (omit if your dried fruit contains mixed peel or if you...
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