It’s time to get festive in the kitchen and knock up some sweet treats to enjoy yourself or to give as gifts to friends and neighbours. I adore making and baking spice-laden tasty things in the depths of winter so why not stick on some Latin Christmas tunes and get into the kitchen with friends and have some fun creating these winter recipes and sharing them? This year I’ve rented a cottage with a cute kitchen, Nigella style to cook up a storm of joy.
So what’s more Christmassy than some mulled wine? Mulled wine pastilles is what. And these you can pop in a pocket and enjoy on the go anywhere.
Mulled Wine Pastilles
A bottle of red wine
600g tin of mandarin segments
5 cooking apples
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp ground mace
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground allspice
600g jam sugar (I used preserving sugar sadly and it wasn’t high enough in pectin, whoops)
2 tbs pomegranate molasses
1 tsp lemon oil
1 tsp orange oil or zest and juice of a bergamot
Caster sugar to coat
Roughly chop the apples and pears and place in a jam pan along with the mandarin segments and their juice and wine.
If using a bergamot and I highly recommend that you try one, grate the rind and juice and add to the pan. The scent is wondrous
Bring to a boil and simmer for half an hour.
Remove from the heat and blend with a hand whisk. Pass through a fine sieve and throw away the little pulp.
Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Spoon off any scum that rises to the surface.
Boil to reduce and thicken for about 40 – 90 minutes. Try to get the temperature up to 110C if you have a jam thermometer. Or drip some onto a plate straight from the freezer. It should form a firm jelly if ready.
Pour into a oiled tin (20 X 30 cm) lined with oiled cling film and place in your fridge for a few hours.
With an oiled knife cut the jelly into pastille sized pieces and toss in caster sugar. Then sit back and indulge yourself. Or share them.