deep-fried ice cream and mincemeat parcelsrating:
250g filo pastry, each sheet about 30 x 45cm
400g finest-quality mincemeat
500ml vanilla ice cream
groundnut oil, or vegetable oil for deep-frying
golden icing sugar, for dusting
you will need only twelve of the sheets of filo. Place them in front of you on a clean, dry work surface or chopping board. The longer side should face you. Fold the first sheet in half, right over left, so that you are working with a double thickness. Turn the sheet of pastry clockwise so that the open edges are away from you, the folded edge nearest. Put a generous heaped tablespoon of mincemeat in the centre of the pastry, followed by a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.
take the long, folded edge nearest you and place it over the ice-cream and mincemeat. Then fold in the right-hand side to the centre to overlap the other side, followed by the left-hand edge. Then turn the parcel over and away from you so that the pastry encloses the filling completely.
place on a metal tray and rush it to the freezer. Continue with the remaining pastry. Freeze for at least two hours (don’t try to hurry the process) so that the ice-cream is really firm by the time you want to fry each parcel.
heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer to 195°C. Lower the parcels, two at a time, in the frying basket. Each parcel will take two and a half minutes to cook. I know this sounds a little pedantic, but if you overcook them the ice-cream will melt and then you will have the most ghastly mess on your hands.
the pastry should be pale gold. You may need to hold the parcels down with a palette knife – they have a tendency to bob around like buoys at sea. Drain on kitchen paper and pat the parcels gently to get rid of any excess oil. Dust with sifted icing sugar and eat straight away, whilst the pastry is still hot and crisp and the ice-cream is still cold.