Mince pie season is well and truly upon us, so I decided to revive what I suspect is now a dying art and make some mincemeat of my own to fill them. Mincemeat is another one of those products that may be found in any shop nowadays at a reasonable price. The quality is usually very good too, which you might think hardly makes it worth the bother of making it at home, but there’s a great sense of satisfaction to be had from doing so!
This recipe made 7 x 12oz jars of mincemeat.
You will need 1kg of dried fruit. The choice is up to you, but the following mixture is what I used:
300g of luxury mixed dried fruit
200g of sultanas
200g of currants
100g of raisins
200g of mixed peel
You will also need:
200g of shredded suet (preferably beef, but vegetable if you prefer)
300g of soft brown sugar
50g of blanched almonds, finely chopped (optional)
2 large or 3 medium cooking apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
the zest and juice of 1 orange
the zest and juice of 1 lemon
½ a jar of orange marmalade
½ of a whole nutmeg, grated
4 teaspoons of mixed spice
100mls of brandy (or whisky)
The method for making the mincemeat couldn’t be simpler:
- place all the ingredients into a large saucepan
- gently heat the ingredients, stirring almost constantly, until the sugar has dissolved and the suet has melted. This should take about 10 – 15 minutes of gentle heat
- remove the pan from the heat, cover the pan with a clean tea towel, and leave the mixture until it is completely cold, overnight if necessary.
- prepare some jam jars and lids – give them a good wash out with hot water and sterilise the glass jars, either in a hot oven for 5 minutes or in the microwave for 2 minutes
- when the fruity mixture is completely cold, pack the mincemeat into the prepared jars
The finished mincemeat needs a couple of weeks to mature before you use it, just to let the flavours develop properly, then you can wow your friends and family with your home baking!