Introducing a brand-new series: recipes from your favourite Novelistas' books!
So, Christmas is over, the decorations are packed away, every mince pie has been eaten... and you find a half-eaten jar of mincemeat lurking at the back of the fridge. What do you do?
(a) Reach for a spoon?
(b) Chuck it in the bin?
(c) Make more mince pies?
How about trying this recipe for mincemeat flapjacks from Trisha Ashley's The Magic of Christmas. They are easy to make, taste good all year round, and are not just for Christmas!
2 tbsp golden syrup
2oz Demerara sugar (or a soft, dark brown sugar, if you want a slightly ‘treacly’ taste)
5 heaped tbsp of mincemeat, either bought or homemade
5oz rolled oats
Preheat oven to gas mark 3, 160⁰C, 325⁰F and grease a seven-inch baking tin. If using a cake tin instead, then I would line the base with baking paper, too.
Melt together the sugar, butter and syrup in a pan over a low heat, then stir in the mincemeat and, once warmed through, the oats.
Remove from the heat and mix well, then spoon into the baking tin and spread it out, flattening the top.
Put into the oven for about half an hour: it should be slightly golden brown. Remove and leave to cool for fifteen minutes before marking into squares or slices.
When cool, store in an airtight container.
The Magic of Christmas by Trisha Ashley
In the pretty Lancashire village of Middlemoss, Lizzy is on the verge of leaving her serially unfaithful husband, Tom, when tragedy strikes. Good job she has welcome distractions in the form of her Christmas Pudding Circle, a circle of friends swapping seasonal recipes, and a simmering rivalry with cookery writer Nick Pharamond – a rivalry set to come to boiling point after he snatched the Best Mince Pie prize away from her at the village show.
Meanwhile, the whole village is gearing up for the annual Mystery Play which takes place on Boxing Day. But who will play Adam to Lizzy’s Eve? Could it be the handsome and charismatic soap actor Ritch Rainford, or could someone closer to home win her heart? Whatever happens, it will certainly be a hard act to follow next year!