Friday, 25 September 2009
I like to get mine made in good time to give the flavours a chance to develop and to soak up the copious amounts of brandy LOL This is an easy and fairly economical recipe, and I got 9 jars out of it - plenty for Christmas and the following winter weeks. As well as mince pies, I use it in baked apples, mincemeat cake, slices, with ice cream, etc.
For the dried fruit, I use whatever is in the larder to make up the quantity; this year I used a cake mix that I buy in huge bags from the wholesaler - raisins, currants, cherries, mixed peel, sultanas. It's a handy thing to keep in stock for cake mkaing, etc, and I use a lot of it. For suet, I buy the ready made stuff, and the vegetarian one so Bean can eat the mincemeat - she'd never forgive me if she couldn't..............lol I bought mine last month in the half price basket in a farm shop I popped into for something else - bit of creative shopping there!! Nuts can be added too, with almonds being the most suitable I think, and an assortment/amount of spice to your taste. I use cheap brandy for mine, but you could use homemade wine, whisky, cointreau, whatever you like really. Extra lemon/orange zest and juice if you like as well. The apples for mine came from a box of free ones by the roadside; make sure you use a crisp fresh apple that will hold its shape in the moist mincemeat.
The thing is about this recipe is it is infinitely adaptable - use what you like to eat, and what you have in stock.
3lbs of mixed dried fruit of your choice
3/4 lbs chopped/minced suet
zest and juice of two large lemons
1 lb sugar, brown, demarara or white, or a mix
1 level tablespoon of mixed spice
1 1/2 lbs apples, peeled, cored, chopped fine
Mix all the ingredients together in a big bowl or similar - I use one of my jam pans. Moisten well with brandy - use plenty as it makes the fruit plump up and helps to keep the mincemeat moist and soft through storage over the winter. Cover and leave for 24 - 48 hours. Have ready some clean jars with lids; fill jars, screw on lids tightly, wipe round to ensure they are spotless on the outside. I dunk my tightly lidded jars in a deep bowl of very hot water and dry straight away with a clean tea towel.
Label and store in a cool, dry place for a good few weeks before using.
Roll on winter..................:)