Relishelgin holiday2015 14 e

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Food & Drink 1. Rinse and drain raisins, cranberries, and currents; set aside in a medium bowl. Gently heat brandy in a small pot and once hot, pour over raisin mixture. Cover and let macerate at room temperature at least 8 hours. 2. Meanwhile, grate the frozen butter into small shreds; keep frozen until needed.

Spiced Fruit Tarts Makes about 2 kg (enough for 3 x 8" pies or 36 tarts) 1 1/2 cups golden/Thompson raisins 1 cup dried cranberries 1 cup dried currants 1 cup brandy (or apple cider or orange juice) 1/2 cup frozen unsalted butter 2 lb Northern Spy apples (5-6 large) 1 cup finely chopped pitted dates 1/4 cup finely chopped candied ginger 1/2 cup finely chopped candied citrus peel 2 cups brown sugar 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 1 tsp ground cloves 3/4 tsp ground nutmeg 1/2 tsp salt prepared pastry shells for tarts or pies

3. Wash, core, and grate apples (no need to peel); set aside in a large bowl. To the apples, add the chopped dates, candied ginger, and candied citrus peel and stir to combine. Add the frozen butter shreds to the apple mixture and mix gently, keeping the butter shreds from clumping together. Stir in the brown sugar, spices, and salt. 4. When the raisin mixture is plump and cool, combine it with the apple mixture. The spiced fruit filling can be refrigerated for several weeks or used immediately (the flavour improves with at least a few days rest). 5. To bake: fill unbaked prepared tart or pie pastry shells with filling. Top with decorated pastry pieces and bake at 350°F until golden brown and juices are bubbling (about 30 minutes for tarts, 45 minutes for pie). Cool slightly before serving with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. Photos by Chef Cindy Bircham

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