A few years ago, the Guardian asked me to write a recipe feature on a Christmas dinner inspired by Finnish traditions. I was a new food writer, and a little green around the edges, and I attempted it with gusto. Needless to say, it wasn’t the most authentic or brilliant of my recipe collections, and if I’d been asked again today I would have gently pointed them in the direction of a Finnish food writer, instead of trying to do it myself. However, I did learn to make these adorable pinwheel biscuits in the process, and although the liver and sultana casserole effort made headlines for all the wrong reasons, this recipe has stayed in my Christmas favourites.
Makes 10, (This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links and make a purchase.)
100g sultanas or prunes or 50g of each, 20p (99p/500g)
2 tablespoons marmalade or honey, 7p (£1.24/425g)
100g butter, plus extra for greasing, 58p (£1.45/250g)
200g flour, plus extra for the worktop, 6p (45p/1.5kg)
1 teaspoon cinnamon, 5p (59p/34g)
icing sugar, to serve
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4.
Pop the fruit into a saucepan with the marmalade or honey and enough water to come halfway up the fruit. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and leave it to stew while you make easy pastry.
Grease or line a baking tray. Melt and stir the butter. Add it to the flour with the cinnamon and stir until it has a breadcrumb texture. Then add cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing with a knife until it gathers itself into a dough. It should hold together, but not be sticky. If it does become sticky, pat a handful of flour around it.
Flour the worktop, then knead the dough lightly for a couple of minutes. Break it in half, and roll out to around 3mm thick. Cut into squares – mine were 8 x 8cm. Transfer the squares to the baking tray, leaving 0.5cm spaces between them.
Drain the excess liquid from the fruit. Dollop a teaspoon of stewed fruit in the centre of each square. Then cut from the corner to the centre, stopping at the fruit. Fold every other corner into the centre, for your pinwheel, pinching the last two together into the centre.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 18 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to stand for 2 minutes. Then take them off the baking tray, before they have time to stick.
Before serving, dust with icing sugar.
TIPS: If you like a nice glaze, brush with a beaten egg before you put them into the oven. You can experiment with fillings – orange and sultana is my favourite, but prune and honey is delicious too. Leftover cranberry sauce mixed with a little marmalade would work nicely – it would also cut down on the cooking time.
First published in the Guardian and G2 magazine: Jack Monroe’s budget Christmas.
All text copyright Jack Monroe.
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