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Freezing ahead for Christmas

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default Freezing ahead for Christmas

Post by Jaded Green on 15th December 2010, 10:26 pm

Every year I plan to do it, but so often fail completely.

I am thinking of preparing mince pies and freezing them. I am wondering whether to cook them, or freeze them uncooked so that they are "freshly baked" when one eats them. Does anyone have any advice.

also, if I do freeze them uncooked, I assume I make them up in the tins, freeze them and then - and this is what I'm wondering about - take them out of the tins and put them in a bag. Will they come out of the tins once they are frozen?
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default Re: Freezing ahead for Christmas

Post by polgara on 16th December 2010, 8:27 am

I grease the tins first, then make them, freeze until they are firm & then take them from the tin & finish freezing them before I put them into a plastic box.

Alternative is to make the pastry, cut into tops & bottoms, freeze them on a sheet, pack them away. When you want them take out as many as you need for about half an hour, put them into the bun tins fill with the mincemeat & away you go.

Second option takes up less room in the freezer.

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default Re: Freezing ahead for Christmas

Post by Guest on 16th December 2010, 9:08 am

I've gone this a few times to stop "them" eating all the mince pies as soon as I made them. 24 pies in 3hrs by two males was the breaking point!

I do what a chef I knew did. Make them, bake them until the pastry is just cooked (sort of set - I think its called "green"), cool quickly and freeze in boxes or carefully laid flat in bags. When you want some put them in the hot oven still frozen to finish cooking.

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default Re: Freezing ahead for Christmas

Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 16th December 2010, 10:20 am

I'd go with Pol's option two. Eliminates 85% of the work - making pastry, rolling etc- but does not risk compromising the structural integrity of the pies.

Another good 'make ahead' is stuffing - I always try to get the stuffings and forcemeats done at least a week ahead of time, and either freeze or refrigerate. Saves loads of time on the day and IMO it is better for it as the flavours have more time to mature and mingle. (how funny I just wrote that the other way round but it just did not look right on the page - mingle and mature... sounds like a dodgy website.)

I think most of the sauce type elements - cranberry, onion, bread can be sensibly done ahead of time too, and if you have soup as a starter this is better done ahead and heated up. I often do a carrot soup or a borscht (laced with vodka), and its not something to be faffing around with on Xmas morning.

The children always have quail's eggs for breakfast on Xmas day and I hardboil these on Xmas eve to speed things up - they only take a few minutes but its one less thing to worry about in the morning. The grownups have smoked salmon and caviar on blinis, and the blinis can be prepared well ahead of time and just toasted from frozen. Making them from scratch on Xmas morning sounds a terrible chiz, and shop-bought ones are never satisfactory. In fact I might make the blinis today and whack them in the freezer.

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default Re: Freezing ahead for Christmas

Post by Compostwoman on 16th December 2010, 3:39 pm

Billy's place for Xmas breakfast, anyone?

Mmmmm dribble

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default Re: Freezing ahead for Christmas

Post by polgara on 16th December 2010, 5:27 pm

Nice as Billy`s sounds, I love my cold boiled bacon, hard boiled eggs & warm rolls for breakfast on Christmas day.

I also made the tops & bottoms for the mince pies today, & they are in the freezer.

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] Enjoy every second of your life, because time races by so much quicker than you think...

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default Re: Freezing ahead for Christmas

Post by Compostwoman on 16th December 2010, 5:51 pm

We have smoked salmon for breakfast on Xmas day, with scrambled eggs and lashings of toast.

And Bucks Fizz...

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default Re: Freezing ahead for Christmas

Post by Dandelion on 16th December 2010, 9:35 pm

Jaded Green wrote:
I assume I make them up in the tins, freeze them and then - and this is what I'm wondering about - take them out of the tins and put them in a bag.

I once froze some pies in the tins, and left them frozen in the tins until I needed them. This was one of those' learning by your mistake' moments, as the pastry had a nasty metallic taste from the tin.

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