This recipe comes to us from Elaine, part of our merchandising team. It’s a family recipe requested by one of our FB readers, Charlotte, who remembers it being served in a local cafe that one of Elaine’s relatives used to own. The recipe below is for a 9-inch pie shell, and at the end of this entry, you’ll see the conversions for an 8-inch pie shell. Like many of our Amish Country pies, it’s full of creamy goodness! Continue reading
The holidays are a time for giving back, and there are tons of fun and creative ways to be generous during the Christmas season.
It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to make someone’s Christmas a lot better. My family and I like to fill a shoe box with things that we think kids would like, and then wrap it up in cute wrapping paper and donate it.
With all the sweets we enjoy over the season, it’s easy to forget that some folks may be going hungry. Volunteering at a local soup kitchen is very rewarding. Bringing homemade cookies or any baked good to a local nursing home will make everyone: you and the residents and staff, smile.
Haven’t quite gotten all the Christmas shopping done yet? Don’t worry: there’s still time to beat Santa to the punch!
Lehman’s last day to order for standard (less expensive!) ground shipping is December 18 at noon. And if you still aren’t quite ready, you can order as late as noon on December 23, add the fee for expedited shipping and rest assured that your gift will arrive on time.
Visit Lehmans.com for your last-minute shopping!
I’ve made a lot of cakes in my time. When I was 9, my homemade, iced chocolate cake took top honors in my cousin’s Girl Scout baking contest. (My cousin says she’s not a baker.) From the time I was young, I helped Mom make and ice wedding cakes, birthday cakes, cakes for every occasion. And the hardest thing to do was to make torte cakes. They were frustrating, and never were as pretty as I wanted them to be.
But now, I can do it easily with the new Layer Cake Slicer!
My younger sister spent a year of her college career as an exchange student to Leeds, England. There she learned many life lessons, including how to make these mini pies, which are now a Christmas tradition in her household (and which I am lucky enough to devour when we visit her). You can find lots of mince pies recipes online; however, most cheat and use either store-bought pastry or filling, or both. This recipe is the real deal, complete with British terminology, which we’ve translated for you in italics. This is at least a one-day process. Like all things authentic, it can’t be rushed. Enjoy making homemade mince pies … and then enjoy eating them even more!
Mince (Consider making ½ this recipe–they are SO rich!)
225g/8oz vegetarian suet (or smaller amount of Crisco)
225g/8oz apples, peeled, cored and chopped
125g/4oz candied peel, chopped or orange peel
225g/8oz white raisins
225g/8oz regular raisins
175g/6oz natural sugar
1 tsp mixed/allspice
1 orange, zest and juice
60ml/2-4fl oz brandy
Mix all ingredients in large mixing bowl until well-combined. When you have the mince mixture finished, chill at least 24 hours before assembling the pies. You can also can the mice filling, following instructions for canning low-acid fruits or pie fillings.
Pastry (My sister doubles this, typically, for the mince recipe above.)
200g/7oz plain flour, sifted
40g/1½oz natural sugar
75g/2¾oz ground almonds
125g/4½oz unsalted butter, diced
1 large free-range egg, beaten
Rub the butter into the dry ingredients by hand, 1-2 dices at a time. When the butter is worked in, gently stir in the egg.
Bring the mixture together with your hands, wrap in clingfilm (plastic wrap) and chill for an hour or so. It’s more like a shortbread type crust than a typical American pie crust. You can also swap in your favorite pie crust recipe.
1/4 cup milk
Assemble the pies
Before building the pies, take the mince out of the refrigerator, and stir to even distribute any liquid in the mixture. If using canned mince, open can, put into a bowl and stir.
My sister uses a mini-cupcake pan for her mince pies, because made in standard muffin pans, the pies do get large! It’s important that you know the pan heats evenly, like the recycled steel Muffin Pan at Lehman’s, should you use a larger pan.
Preheat the oven to 400° (UK Gas 6).
1. Remove chilled pastry from refrigerator.Roll out the pastry to a uniform thinness (approximately 1/4″) on a well-floured surface. As dough warms, it will become difficult to handle. Chill again if needed.
2. Cut large and small rounds of pastry. Large rounds must be big enough to line the pan wells, level with the tops of the wells, as they will become the bottom crust for the mince pies. Smaller rounds will top the pies.
3. Place mince onto the bottom crust, leaving margins for sealing.
4. Top with the smaller piece. Press the edges of the pastry pieces together to seal.
5. Make a small slit in the top of each pie, then brush lightly with milk.
Because the crust has so much butter in it, it can bubble over the pan. You may want to line your oven with something like Lehman’s Nonstick Oven Liner. My sister says it can get a bit messy during baking, so she always lines the oven.
Bake the pies for 20-ish minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes in pan, then remove to wire rack. Serve warm.
Want to compare? My sister suggests this link for a reference. She’s used it when needed and liked it.
Do you know the Mustard Man® Mustards? If you don’t, you can get to know him right here at Lehman’s!
It’s the first holiday season that we’ve featured this locally-made product, and it’s certainly adding a sparkle to our foods lineup both at Lehman’s in Kidron, in our catalogs, and on our website, Lehmans.com.
Tim Campbell, aka “The Mustard Man,” is a guy with a mission. From his small manufacturing kitchen near Canton, Ohio, he’s spreading the word about real mustard!
“Everything is derived from a recipe that the German side of my family has used for generations. We put it on sausage links, mostly, in the beginning. I’d take it to tailgates, house parties, whatever. And people kept saying, ‘Wow, this is great, you really should sell it.” Continue reading
The first thing we did was look at Pinterest.
In retrospect, that may have been a mistake.
After all, we’re writers and editors here at Country Life, not semi-professional crafters.
But we had a great time making our “disco ball jars” as writer Sarah christened the project, and we hope you will too.
Last December I finally tried my hand at one of the most coveted recipes within the pages of my Great-Grandmother Miriam’s recipe book: her soft ginger cookies. She made them annually when I was a child; we looked forward to them so much that she even wrote, “the kids like these” in the recipe (the entire thing is handwritten, another aspect of the treasure).
Blessed with a quiet afternoon to myself (the baby napping and the other two at school), I set about mixing up the dough in my trusty KitchenAid mixer, which was a wedding gift from Grandma Ruth. As I got out my rolling pin and cookie cutters, it suddenly dawned on me that my cookie baking was accompanied by not one, not two, not
even three, but FOUR of my grandmothers.
Two greats, and two grands: Great-Grandma Miriam’s handwritten recipe, Great-Grandma Jane’s wooden rolling pin, the mixer from Grandma Ruth, and my collection of antique cookie cutters from Grandma Toody (whose real name is also Ruth, but that’s another post). Sadly, the two “greats” have passed on, but my two grandmothers are still with us. What a gift it was to make these cookies with all of them “present” with me!
Here’s Great-Grandma Miriam’s recipe, word for word:
Soft Ginger Cookies
3/4 c. molasses
1/2 c. melted shortening (don’t substitute butter)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. strong vinegar
2 tsp. soda
1 tsp. baking powder
2 cups flour
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. buttermilk
Mix all ingredients together in the order given. Then stir in 2 more cups flour. Roll out thick and sprinkle with a mixture of sugar and cinnamon. Cut out in desired shapes. Bake at 375 degrees F for 10-12 minutes.
(Sarah’s note: Dough will be sticky – use a generous amount of flour to roll out and cut out!)
P.S. These were RAGINGLY popular last Christmas. I made all star shapes and the cinnamon-sugar mixture gave them just the right hint of glitter. They don’t require icing, but if you really HAD to, you could do a nice butter cream or even cream cheese icing.
If you’re like the folks who work here at Lehman’s, you like to make things with your hands. And for the holidays, you really like to make gifts for those few people who make your life complete.
This year, you might need their cooperation, a few Tshirts, and some basic sewing skills. We love the idea of a quilt made from well-loved or outgrown Ts that aren’t really past their prime.
In fact, one of our own staff members, Elaine, created a beautiful, very warm comforter using the Lehman’s t-shirts she wore to work for years!
See the tutorial here: