Twelfth Night, Epiphany and Spices!
Curried Beef & Apricot Pie with a Salt Glaze Crust Recipe
Today, the 5th January, is Twelfth Night, not to be confused with Epiphany, which is tomorrow on the 6th January. Traditionally, it’s the day that all the decorations and cards come down, lest you bring bad luck into your home for the new year, as superstition dictates, and I am not one to flout superstition if and when bad luck is mentioned. So, in my house, all of the decorations, the tree and the cards are taken down and packed away for another year……..or in the case of the “real” tree, it is planted back into the garden. However sad it may be to pack away the sparkle and tinsel, it’s always been a day of merriment and fun, where tricks and charades are played and the last vestiges of all the rich festive food are enjoyed; and indeed we always indulge in any cake, chocolates or other treats that are still around, in an attempt the soften the “taking down the decorations” blow……
…….I always serve a special Twelfth Night supper, and use the last of the Christmas crackers too. Past years have seen me cooking Hunting Beef, a highly spiced beef dish that is great cold as well as hot. Last year I made a magnificent King Cake: Rosca de Reyes, studded with nuts and jewelled candied fruits.
It’s also time to enjoy a Galette des Rois, if we are in France, and if you venture into any major supermarket or small patisserie, you will be met with a huge array of these delectable pastries, complete with a paper or cardboard crown too. I have made one of these flaky pastry delights at home in the past, but really there seems little point when there are so many on offer, and in different flavours too……frangipane, apple, chocolate and lemon.
This year I have decided that our Twelfth Night pastry will be savoury and spicy – so, I have made a lovely Curried Beef & Apricot Pie with a Salt Glaze Crust, using some leftover brisket and vegetables I cooked for our New Year’s Day dinner and that I popped into the freezer. (I also make a version of this pie with leftover turkey too) I added some apricots and a dollop of mango chutney for a fruity burst of flavour and after all of the rich food I have been enjoying lately, I wanted some spices to cut through our jaded palates, so I curried the pie filling, and then added a crispy sea salt glaze crust. The pie was enjoyed with saffron and honey basted roast parsnips, some fluffy mashed potatoes and some crunchy curly kale for the green element.
It seems only appropriate that a pie be served this Twelfth Night, and although we may not be indulging in any Shakespearean frolics, such as Viola dressing as a man, and the servant Malvolio imagining that he can become a nobleman, as in the play Twelfth Night, we will be enjoying the last bottles of our festive fizz, chocolates as well as a slice or two of Christmas cake. I hope all of my readers have a “jolly old time” this Twelfth Night and that the New Year will be kind to all of you, see you tomorrow for Epiphany! Karen
PS: Do try this recipe if you have a surfeit of leftovers too – beef or turkey work exceptionally well……………
About Twelfth Night:
Twelfth Night is the festival marking the coming of the Epiphany and concluding the Twelve Days of Christmas. In mediaeval and Tudor England, the Twelfth Night marked the end of a winter festival that started on All Hallows Eve — now more commonly known as Halloween. The Lord of Misrule symbolises the world turning upside down. On this day the King and all those who were high would become the peasants and vice versa. At the beginning of the Twelfth Night festival, a cake that contained a bean was eaten, and the person who found the bean would rule the feast. Midnight signalled the end of his rule and the world would return to normal. The common theme was that the normal order of things was reversed. This Lord of Misrule tradition dates back to pre-Christian European festivals such as the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia.
As there is an egg used in this recipe, and it is OUR Twelfth Night Tea Time Treat today, I am entering this into this months Tea Time Treats, which is being hosted by my NEW co-host Janie, over at The Hedgecombers, and the theme is EGGS!