'Tis the Season: Joyful Preparations at Singita Boulders Lodge
There is something naturally festive about Singita Boulders Lodge; the rich, earth-toned colour palette punctuated by gleaming copper might remind you of a Christmas decoration or a plate piled with gold-topped mince pies. The recently refurbished lodge is set along the banks of the Sand River in Singita’s privately owned reserve within the Sabi Sand Reserve, and an inviting oasis, especially at this time of year.
It's the perfect location for a festive celebration; in fact preparations for Christmas are already well underway. The hard-working kitchen teams are in full swing, creating all manner of sweet and spicy treats for our holiday guests. Sous Chef Nico Meyer's mince pies are one such example; a mouthwatering mixture of tender pastry and juicy fruit filling that flies off the long bar at tea time. He was kind enough to share his recipe with us and give us a look behind the scenes at the lodge's festive season preparations:
FESTIVE & FRUITY MINCE PIE RECIPE
TO MAKE THE FRUIT MINCE:
Ingredients - what you will need: 90g dried prunes, stoned 90g dried dates, stoned 80g sultanas 70g seedless raisins 40g chopped almonds 30g chopped walnuts 80g light brown muscovado sugar Finely grated zest of ½ lemon Finely grated zest of ½ orange Pinch each of cinnamon, clove and ginger 2 tablespoons port
Method - what to do: Combine all your ingredients in a bowl and cover Leave overnight in your fridge to soak
TO MAKE THE PASTRY:
Ingredients - what you will need: 200g butter 200g icing/powdered sugar 3 eggs 500g cake flour
Method - what to do: Cream the butter and sugar together Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition Add your flour until combined Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and fold until the pastry comes together, be careful not to over mix Wrap the pastry in cling film and rest for 30 mins in the fridge
TO MAKE THE MINCE PIES:
Heat your oven to 220°C Roll out the pastry to 3mm thick and Use a round cutter (about 10cm) to cut out your bases Place them into muffin or cupcake trays Put a small dollop (about 1½ teaspoons) of fruit mince into each Brush the edge of each pie with a little beaten egg Re-roll out the pastry to cut lids and press them on top to seal Bake until golden brown (10-20 minutes, depending on your oven) Dust with icing sugar
Don't like raisins or sultanas? The recipe is equally delicious when these ingredients are substituted with dried cranberries! By the way, you can visit this site to find a handy measurement converter.