I am struggling with the whole Christmas thing this year, and I doubt I’m alone. This year has been so hideous, I just can’t focus on the season with all my usual gusto. That said, we’ve put up some festive lights outside the house, I’ve made my Christmas cake and now, I’ve made my own Mincemeat, so things are looking a little more twinkly.
I can’t believe, given the amount of Mincemeat recipes there are on LL, I’ve never bothered to make my own. Until now. Good old Delia has come up trumps and I’ve meddled with her recipe to suit all my seasonal cravings. A fruity mix of raisins, sultanas, dried cranberries and a decent slug of brandy transforms itself into a wonderful basis for your mince pies, mincemeat crumble slice or mincemeat and marzipan cake. And good Lord it’s easy to make. The chopping of the apples is the only labour intensive part of the recipe, the rest is simply stirring and packing into jars. I used vegetarian suet as a less squeamish option, but beef suet will be just as tasty. It will need a 12 hour/overnight soaking period, so get ahead of yourself while we’re still all in lockdown.
You could give this homemade festive treat as a thoughtful gift this Christmas. I won’t be doing this, as we *and by we I mean me* eat at least 12 mince pies a week at this time of year.
This recipe will feature on Lucy Loves later this week.
Makes around 4 x 500g jars
You will need a large oven proof bowl, jars to store and little wax circles to seal the jars
500g cooking apples, no need to peel, cored and chopped into small pieces
225g dried cranberries
150g chopped mixed peel
225g suet, I used a vegetarian variety
350g dark brown sugar
4 teaspoons mixed spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Generous grating fresh nutmeg
2 oranges, zest and juice
2 lemons, zest and juice
6 tablespoons brandy
Start this recipe the day before you need it. Take a large oven proof bowl (mine was a big glass one) and measure in the cored and chopped apples, raisins, sultanas, peel and dried cranberries. Follow in with dark brown sugar, suet, mixed spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange and lemon juices and zests.
Give it all a huge stir, making sure everything is well mixed and coated. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave in a cool place for 12 hours, or overnight.
When the time’s up, pre heat your oven to a low 100 degrees fan assisted. Give your mincemeat a good stir again, then cover your bowl loosely with foil and then place the bowl in the oven for 3 hours.
Remove from the oven and as the mincemeat cools, stir well, to ensure the melted fat coats the ingredients. Don’t panic if it looks oily, it will mix once cooled and well stirred.
When the mincemeat is totally cool, stir in the 6 tablespoons of brandy. Spoon into sterilised jars (wash the jars in hot soapy water then place into a hot oven for 5 minutes to sterilise). Place a waxed circle on the top of each jar, pop a lid on and close tightly.
The mincemeat will keep in a cool, dark place for at least a year, longer according to Delia.