For the first time since I moved to Ireland, we are welcoming family from America to the farm for this year’s Thanksgiving celebration and I am just thrilled! Last year, we hosted the dinner in our home with a group of our expat friends which was wonderful and this year it will be just as special again.
We will all be to traveling to Kildare on Wednesday the 23rd to visit a turkey farm and take home our fresh bronze turkey. I have freshly pressed apple cider in the fridge that we will warm and sip the next morning as we prepare for our meal later that day. Pumpkin pie(s) will be made. Martha’s stuffing. Fresh cranberry chutney. Yams. And of course, Richard’s famous Irish coffee.
In America, I think it is safe to say that Thanksgiving is nearly as big a holiday as Christmas. Here, since there is no holiday to break up the time before Christmas, everyone is already dangerously close to hitting the Christmas spirit. It is getting increasingly more difficult to wait to go Christmas cray cray until the day after Thanksgiving, but I will resist!
In the spring, I worked as a food stylist on a fantastic cookbook written by Irish butcher, Pat Whelan, and photographed by the very talented Moya McAllister. One of the recipes that really appealed to me was Pat’s sweet turkey, ham and cranberry pies. They are just the right size for a light lunch or tea in the evening. Of course, the idea is that these would be easy to whip up with leftovers from the Christmas dinner, but I love the thought of making them after Thanksgiving. With or without the ham.
Here’s Pat’s recipe
Makes 8 (In a regular 12 hole bun/muffin tray. I used tart molds which are a bit larger so recipe would make 6)
500g Shortcrust pastry
250g/9oz/1 1/2 cups shredded turkey
100g/3/4 cup cooked ham cut into small pieces
8 tbsp creme fraiche
8 tsp cranberry sauce
1 egg beaten
Roll out pastry
Cut 8 circles to line holes of the tin and 8 smalled circles for the pie lids
Grease the holes in the tin and line with pastry
Divide the turkey, ham, cranberry sauce and cream between the 8 holes
Season with salt and pepper
Brush the edges of the pastry and apply the pastry lid to seal
Place tray into the fridge to chill for about 30 minutes
Heat oven to 180/Gas 6
Brush pastry lids with egg wash and bake for 25 minutes
Can be eaten hot or cold!
Photo by Moya McAllister. Food Styling by Imen McDonnell 2010.