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There’s (almost) nothing as Christmassy as a warm sausage roll. For me they’re tied to childhood memories of after-carol-service mulled wine, with plates of sausage rolls and molten mince pies, waiting sneakily to burn the tongues of those of us who snaffled them up too quickly! When I was little, my vegetarianism occasionally used to go out of the window when presented with a sausage roll….

So I had a lovely day off work today, so thought a spot of relaxing baking was in order. How wrong could I be! Turns out pastry is v stressful! My mum and my grandma are both expert pastry makers, but unfortunately, it seems that that gene hasn’t been passed down to me. Delia’s apparently ‘easy flaky pastry’? Not so easy after all!

Pastry worries aside, these rolls were really simple to make and taste great – the subtle cranberry and orange flavouring really turns them from your common-or-garden sausage roll into a definite seasonal treat.

Cranberry and Orange Sausage Rolls – Makes about 20 smallish rolls

For the flaky pastry

  • 115g salted butter
  • 175g plain flour
  • Enough ice cold water to mix it into a dough (Delia says 2 tbsps but it took me about 4)
  • 1 egg (for the wash)

For the sausages

  • 500g sausage meat from the butcher – mine was quite herby
  • The zest of 1 large orange
  • About 10 dried cranberries, chopped finely

About half an hour before you want to make the pastry, wrap the butter in tin foil and pop in the freezer. You’ll need to grate the butter later and this semi-freezing helps it to stay solid.

You wouldn't want this on your pasta!

Meanwhile, grate the orange zest, chop the cranberries and mix them with the sausage meat; this will take a while to ensure the cranberries are well distributed.

Sieve the flour into a large bowl and grate in the butter. With a palate knife, stir the mix until the butter is covered in flour. Continuing to stir with a knife, and then your hands at the very end, add enough water until the mix forms a sold dough. It shouldn’t be sticky at all. Put in the fridge to chill for half an hour (a lot of waiting around in this one).

Roll out the pastry into rectangles and put a long sausage of the meat about a centimetre away from one side. Roll up and pinch the edges together. Brush with an egg wash (beaten egg with a little water) and prick with a fork. Cut into whatever size rolls you fancy and bake in a preheated oven at 220 degrees c for about half an hour or until golden. Transfer onto a cooling rack.

I prefer mine warm (reheat in a hot oven for 5 mins), but they are still yummy cold.

Also this week: Working nights for the first time (yawn!), Christmas parties. Oh and I found a shopping basket on the street which I’m going to use as a veg rack!

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