Wednesday 7 October 2020

Mincemeat in time for Christmas

I made my first mince pies yesterday!! I felt sorry for my husband who loves them, although I normally waiting til 1st Nov, as you have to draw the line somewhere! But have you ever thought about making your own Mincemeat? It is very very easy, although the prep does take a little time. Then just mix all that lovely fruity, nutty mix with the booze of your choice and wait for it to mature before using for your mince pies. There is not even a method, although you do need to sterilise your jars before packing. I just use the dishwasher.

The quality below makes approx 12 jars depending on size of course. I save jam jars or you can buy them these days at a very reasonable price.  [I find Hobby Craft the best value] The Mincemeat will keep but best eat it within 5 months at it’s very best. So making this during the beginning of October is perfect timing.

I have fiddled with different combinations of fruit and nuts for some time, and I like this. I want a luxury combo. You can use Brandy, Rum or Whiskey - your choice. I am using whiskey this year, but I do like rum.

4 lbs dried fruit in total, generally around equal quantities of currants, sultanas, raisins, plus half quantity of chopped mixed peel, dried cranberries [no need to be too exact, chuck it in!]

12 oz soft dried figs [in Lidl, they are very good and reasonable]

12 oz glaze cherries

6 oz chopped apricots

about 8 pieces of stem ginger

about 8-10 tablespoonfuls of the syrup

10-12 oz chopped whole almonds and walnuts or pecans mix

3 lb dark muscovado sugar

3 heaped teaspoonfuls mixed spice

½ teaspoonful ground cloves

12 tablespoonfuls vegetable suet, ie one whole packet

grated zest of 4 lemons and 3 oranges

6 apples, [I like golden delicious] very finely chopped [in a the juice of two of the lemons]

20 tablespoonfuls booze

Assemble all your ingredients: Chop the mixed peel until very very fine. Chop the figs, quarter the cherries and finely chop the stem ginger. Zest the citrus fruit and chop the apples and toss in the lemon juice.

In a very large mixing bowl bring all your ingredients together and mix well. Cover with cling film and leave all day, stirring occasionally. Get your jars ready, put the clean jars in an empty dishwasher to sterilise or put them in an oven on an ovenproof tray.

Pack the jars, and seal. How easy is that? Now you have to wait.

Note: you can use Bramley apples but I find they turn to mush when cooking and golden delicious do not! 

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