I blogged Christmas Mincemeat last year but thought it was worth a reminder and I do so enjoy making it. Immediately after finishing this batch and trying the first mince pies, I resolved to make a second batch: one is simply never going to get us through Christmas! If you like mince pies, I urge you to make this: you will NEVER buy mincemeat from the supermarket again! It is dead easy to make, fills the house with the unique uplifting and festively nostalgic aromas of Christmas and tastes a world apart from anything commercial. My first – but far from last – compliments of the (forthcoming) season! Indulge and enjoy!
What you need…
450g cooking apples, cored, left unpeeled and chopped small
150g dried cranberries
225g candied peel, finely chopped
350g soft dark brown sugar
Grated zest and juice of 2 oranges
Grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
50g flaked almonds
4 teaspoons ground mixed spice
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ nutmeg, grated
6 tablespoons brandy
What to do…
The evening before you want to cook the mincemeat, combine everything except the brandy in a large casserole, stirring the ingredients in as you add them to make sure that they are thoroughly mixed. Pop the lid on and leave in a cool place overnight to allow the flavours to gather.
The following morning, preheat the oven to 120°c / 225°f / gas ¼.
Pop the casserole, with its lid on, into the oven and cook for 3 hours. (If you leave the house, forgetting to do this, telephone the husband and ask him to do it!!!)
Remove from the oven and over the next few hours, whilst it is cooling, give it a little stir every now and then, just to make sure that the now-melted suet is evenly distributed and coating the other ingredients, rather than being separate claggy lumps.
When it’s cold, stir in the brandy and spoon into clean jars with lids/seals. Keep your Christmas mincemeat in a cool, dark cupboard until you are ready to make your mince pies, which in my case was the day after – I had to check it, after all!
A little weighing and stirring job before it cooks itself.