Tuesday, 20 December 2011
These little tasty treats have been somewhat of a Christmas Tradition in my home. It's a very old recipe that I have had kicking around in my Big Blue Binder for yonks and yonks . . . so long that I no longer know where it came from.
The page that is is written on is tattered and torn from years of use . . . and splattered too. I don't know what's up with that because I generally don't see myself as a messy cook! I'm not sure how that happens!
The title is underlined in red, denoting that it is a "Christmas" recipe . . . a recipe saved to be made only at that special time of year . . . which somehow makes these "Christmas" recipes taste even better, because they are a once-in-a-year treat!
They are very impressive to look at, and yet . . . so very simple to make. (This is a real bonus at Christmas when our days are busy and hectic!)
They are also incredibly delicious, with a crispy buttery cookie crust that you simply press into mini muffin tins and bake . . . a sweet date filling and a topping of a dab of delicious buttercream icing, which you can either make yourself or purchase ready made.
I always make my own, as it's very simple and quick and completely natural. (2 TBS softened butter and 280g of icing sugar (2 cups) beaten together with just enough milk to create a fluffy creamy mixture. You can also add a few drops of vanilla extract if you want.)
I believe the original name was Cape Breton Pork Pies, but . . . a lot of our Nova Scotian recipes come from over here in the UK, so I am just calling them porkie pies . . . the term porkie pie being Cockney rhyming slang for telling lies . . . and what are these but a delightful little lie and surprise for your guests as they are not pork pies at all, but delicious little date tarts!
"Porkie Pies" is Cockney Rhyming slang for "telling lies." These are a sweet little lie as they are not pork pies at all, but tasty little tartlettes with a crisp cookie crust, a sweet date filling and a creamy buttercream topping!
For the shells:
8 ounces butter, softened (1 cup)
4 TBS icing sugar
280g flour (2 cups)
For the filling:
375g chopped dates (2 cups)
255g of soft light brown sugar (1 1/2 cups)
250ml of water (1 cup)
1 TBS lemon juice
White butter cream icing(your own recipe or premade)
Preheat the oven to 220*C/425*F/ gas mark 7. Have ready two mini muffin pans, each holding 12.
Beat the butter, flour and icing sugar for the shells together until you have a smooth mixture. Divide into 25 evenly sized balls and drop each into the muffin tin holes. Use a wooden dowel or something similar to tamp the centres down and force the edges up into a crust shape. Bake in the heated oven for 8 to 10 minutes until lightly browned. Remove and let cool before popping out of the tin completely.
To make the filling combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
To assemble spoon a portion of the date filling into each cookie cup and top with a bit of butter cream. You can pipe the buttercream on if you wish, but I am lazy and just spoon it on. These are fabulous!
Over in The Cottage today a delicious Sour Cream Cake!