Recipe for Christmas Fruit Mince Phyllo Crackers, with a caramel dipping sauce
For the phyllo crackers:
250g fruit mincemeat
1 apple, grated with skin on
½ tbsp brandy
12 sheets Mediterranean Delicacies Phyllo Pastry
100ml butter, melted
twine for securing the crackers (optional)
icing sugar for dusting (optional)
For the salted caramel sauce:
¾ cup castor sugar
3 tbsp water
150ml double cream
pinch of salt
1 tbsp butter
Preheat your oven to 160ºC and line a tray with baking paper.
Place the fruit mincemeat in a small mixing bowl. Squeeze excess juice from the grated apple and discard the juice. Add the apple and brandy to the fruit mincemeat and mix well. Set aside.
Carefully remove three sheets of phyllo pastry from the packaging. Keep the remaining phyllo sheets covered with the plastic provided in the box and a damp tea towel. Lay one sheet of phyllo on your work surface with the short side in front of you (i.e. “portrait” orientation). Brush the sheet with melted butter and place a second phyllo sheet on top. Brush the top with butter again and place the third phyllo sheet on top. If any of the sheets tear, simply “glue” them together with the melted butter.
Cut the phyllo sheet stack in half horizontally. Then cut each half into three equal pieces vertically so that you end up with six phyllo rectangles.
Place a teaspoon of the fruit mince filling on the short end of each phyllo rectangle. Brush the other end with a small amount of melted butter. Roll the filling up in the phyllo pastry, the melted butter will help to stick it together. Pinch and gently twist the ends to give the cracker shape. You can also secure the ends with a short piece of twine.
Arrange the crackers on your baking tray. Brush with a little melted butter and bake for 20 minutes until golden. While the first batch of crackers are baking you can prepare your second batch, then the third, etc. You will prepare four batches in total. Set the crackers aside to cool.
While the last batch is baking prepare your caramel sauce. Place the castor sugar and water in a small saucepan and stir over a low heat to dissolve the sugar. Use a pastry brush dipped in water to brush away any sugar crystals that stick to the sides of the saucepan.
Bring the sugar mixture to the boil. Allow to boil gently without stirring until the syrup starts turning golden. Give the pot a small swirl and keep an eye on it as it will turn quickly. Once the syrup is a rich golden colour remove it from the heat and immediately add the cream, salt and butter. (Take care as it will bubble and steam!) Give the sauce a good whisk until it is smooth. Leave to cool for 10 minutes.
Remove the twine from the crackers if you used it. Arrange the crackers on a serving plate and dust with icing sugar. Transfer the caramel sauce to a dipping bowl and serve with the crackers.
Recipe courtesy of Cupcakes and Couscous – a food blog by Teresa Ulyate