Winter Warmers

Published: Thursday 5th Dec 2013

Written by: Ginny Kay

Winter Warmers are fabulous tasty morsels we all love to indulge in, at this time of year. We just can’t wait to bring on the turkey, roasty’s and Christmas pudding, but as there are a few more days to go yet to the big day, we thought we’d look at some things we could enjoy right now.

Most people love to eat a fruity rich mince pie and here in Devon that usually includes some clotted cream. For the more adventurous amongst you why not try making your own clotted cream?

A generous amount requires 3 pints of milk and ½ pint of cream.

Mix together in a wide saucepan. Stand in a cool place but not a fridge for at least 12 hours till the cream rises to the top.

Carefully place on a stove and heat on a low heat for 40 – 50 minutes and a crust begins to form.

Remove from the heat and again leave to stand somewhere cool overnight.

Next day carefully remove the beautiful creamy yellow cream and pile onto a warm mince pie.

Or if you refer how about trying some really easy to make home-made Rum Butter?

Take 6oz of soft butter and 6oz of brown sugar. Beat both together until really creamy. Slowly add into the buttery mixture 6 tablespoons of dark rum. Grate some fresh nutmeg into the mixture and spoon into a jar or dish to set in the fridge.

Another great winter warmer favourite is mulled wine and it goes great with mince pies. How about making enough to treat family and friends.

You’ll need 2 clementine’s, 1 lemon, 1 lime, 200gms sugar,6 cloves, cinnamon stick, 3 bay leaves,1 nutmeg to grate, vanilla pod or essence, 2 star anise, and 2 bottles of red plonk.

Peel large sections of peel from your clementines, lemon and lime using a speed peeler. Put the sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the pieces of peel and squeeze in the clementine juice. Add the cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and about 10 to 12 gratings of nutmeg. Throw in half of a vanilla pod or a tablespoon of quality essence and stir in just enough red wine to cover the sugar. 

Let this simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved into the red wine and then bring to the boil. Keep on a rolling boil for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until you've got a beautiful thick syrup. This helps create a good flavour base by really getting the sugar and spices to infuse and blend well with the wine. It's important to make a syrup base first because it needs to be quite hot, and if you do this with both bottles of wine in there you'll burn off the alcohol. 

When your syrup is ready, turn the heat down to low and add your star anise and the rest of the wine. Gently heat the wine and after around 5 minutes, when it's warm and delicious, ladle it into glasses and serve.

Well that's it for now, I'm off to bake pies, make cream and drink some mulled wine!

Winter Warmers

Ginny Kay



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