Posted 13th Nov 2014
Make this Christmas extra special with Bonne Maman. Made using only the finest natural ingredients, Bonne Maman’s conserves, compotes and marmalades add texture, natural sweetness and a fruity depth of flavour to much-loved festive recipes, and we have some of their brilliant makes and bakes to share with you
Apricot mince pies
100g unsalted butter, at room temperature and cubed, plus extra for greasing
200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
1 tablespoon caster sugar
6 teaspoons Bonne Maman Apricot Conserve
6 teaspoons good quality mincemeat
Milk or beaten egg, for glazing
Icing sugar, to dust
1. Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC/180ºC Fan/Gas Mark 6. Lightly grease a 12-hole cake tin.
2. Put the flour into a mixing bowl, add the butter and rub into the flour until the mixture is like fine breadcrumbs.
3. Add the mixed spice to the sugar in a pestle and mortar or a strong bowl with the end of a rolling pin and grind together until well mixed and a little powdery. Add this to the flour and butter and stir in.
4. Using a round-bladed palette knife, mix 3-4 tablespoons of cold water, stirring until it comes together. Then with your hands, work the dough gently into a ball, wrap in clingfilm and allow to rest for about 20 minutes.
5. Roll out the pastry thinly on a lightly floured work surface. Stamp out 12 circles with a fluted pastry cutter, slightly larger than the cake holes, and press the circles into the tin.
6. Put about ½ teaspoon of apricot conserve into each pastry case, then top with about ½ teaspoon of mincemeat.
7. Re-roll the pastry trimmings and cut about 12 smaller circles and put them on top of the mincemeat. Glaze the tops with a little milk or beaten egg, if available, and bake in the pre-heated oven for 12-15 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden.
8. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then remove and cool on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar to finish.
Shortbread with strawberry conserve
Makes 20 shortbreads
250g plain flour
70g caster sugar
Pinch of salt
200g very cold butter
½ large egg, beaten
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
Zest of one orange
½ jar of Bonne Maman Strawberry Conserve
Icing sugar, to decorate
1. Pre-heat the oven to 170ºC/325ºF/Gas Mark 3. Sieve the flour, sugar and salt into a large bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces, add to the bowl and use your fingers to combine to fine crumbs.
2. Add the egg, vanilla essence and the orange zest and knead the dough until it is smooth, being careful not to overwork it.
3. Lightly dust a work surface with flour and use a rolling pin to roll the pastry out to a thickness of about 0.5cm. Cut out 40 discs or rectangles as desired. On half of the batch cut decorative shapes (stars or Christmas trees usually work well) out of the centre. Arrange on a lightly greased baking tray and put in the fridge for about an hour.
4. Bake for about 12 minutes or until just starting to brown. Take out of the oven and leave to cool completely.
5. When cool, spread half of the shortbreads with strawberry conserve and use the other halves to top each biscuit off. Sprinkle with icing sugar before serving.
Christmas cherry soufflé
40g butter, plus extra for greasing
25g cold Christmas pudding, crumbled
2 tablespoons brandy
2g Bonne Maman Black Cherry Conserve
4 tablespoons plain flour
300ml whole milk
75g golden caster sugar
25g stem ginger, finely chopped
4 large eggs, separated
Icing sugar, to dust
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC/160ºC Fan/Gas Mark 4. Butter an 18cm (7 inch), 1.7 litre (3 pint) soufflé dish. Put a flat baking sheet in the oven to heat up.
2. Stir together the crumbled Christmas pudding with the brandy and conserve and set aside.
3. Melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour and gradually add the milk. Bring to the boil, stirring, then reduce the heat and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in 50g of the sugar with the ginger, then beat in the egg yolks. Gently fold in the Christmas pudding mixture into the sauce.
4. Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks, then gradually whisk in the remaining golden caster sugar until the meringue is stiff and glossy. With a large metal spoon fold the meringue into the sauce and turn into the prepared dish.
5. Sit the dish on the heated baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes until well risen and golden. Dust with icing sugar and serve straight away.
Tip: The sauce for the soufflé can be made the day before it is needed. Don’t beat in the 50g caster sugar but sprinkle on top of the sauce to prevent a skin forming. When ready to cook, beat well before whisking and fold in the meringue as above.
Christmas rocky road
Makes 20 pieces
400g milk or plain chocolate
150g unsalted butter, diced
150g mini marshmallows
150g digestive biscuits, roughly crushed
75g mixed milk and white chocolate Maltesers
50g toasted hazelnuts
4 tablespoons Bonne Maman Berries & Cherries Conserve
1. Lightly oil a tin that measures 18 x 18cm , then line with a sheet of clingfilm. Break the chocolate into a medium bowl and add the butter. Sit the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Leave to melt for 10-15 minutes.
2. When both have melted, stir quickly together until smooth. Add all of the remaining ingredients, except the conserve.
3. Spoon one third of the chocolate mixture into the prepared tin then dot the surface with half the conserve.
4. Then, spoon half the remaining mixture into the tin and dot with the remaining conserve.
5. Finish with a layer of chocolate mixture. Level the surface and cover with cling film. Chill overnight.
6. Turn out the rocky road and cut into bite-size chunks.
Tip: To freeze: chill, pack and freeze at the end of step 5. To use, thaw it overnight in the fridge.
When the last drop of your favourite conserve, compote or marmalade is gone, get creative with empty Bonne Maman jars. With their signature red and white gingham lids, these iconic jars are great for home décor and crafts. From stylish ‘Noel’ candles, to homemade biscuits and fudge in decorated jars for the perfect present, to storage for the kids seasonal sequins and glitter or even make your own advent calendar from endearing 30g Bonne Maman jars, each filled with a little Christmas treat – there's plenty of uses for these handy jars.
Recipes from Bonne Maman – The Seasonal Cookbook (Simon & Schuster), available through Amazon, WH Smith and Waterstones @ £12.99. Recipe development by Moyra Fraser.