I am reliably informed there are only 37 SLEEPS until Christmas at the time of writing. I just have to tell you that I AM SO EXCITED. I love Christmas 🙂
Of course, the season would not be the same without piles of beautiful mince pies. I know you can buy them fairly cheaply in the shops but nothing beats homemade mince pies straight from the oven. Without a doubt, it has to be homemade mincemeat for me too; none of the store-bought versions even come close!
If you search online for mincemeat recipes, you’ll find there are two different methods; some just mix all the ingredients and then jar up, whilst others warm them through in the oven first. Personally, I prefer the second method – this is the method Delia Smith recommends and I’m sure she knows a thing or two about a mince pie! She does this as there is a small chance the apples will start to ferment whilst in the jars which could lead to exploding jars; not good for my cupboards… Heating in the oven makes sure the fat covers the apples and stops them from fermenting. Perfect!
You can be a little bit flexible with this recipe. If you don’t like one ingredient, leave it out or replace it with something else! Just make sure you keep the amount of sugar and apple constant to ensure the mincemeat keeps for as long as possible.
Traditional Christmas mincemeat with some added luxury!
- Juice and zest of 2 lemons
- Juice and zest of 2 oranges
- 450g bramley apples, cored and chopped small (prepared weight)
- 250g vegetable suet
- 1kg mixed dried fruit (a mix of raisins, currants, sultanas, mixed peel etc.)
- 200g glacé cherries, chopped into quarters
- 400g golden caster sugar
- 50g flaked almonds
- 50g walnuts, roughly crushed
- 4tsp ground mixed spice
- Half of a nutmeg, freshly grated
- 100ml brandy
1. Place all ingredients except the brandy in a big bowl, mix well and leave, covered with a tea towel, overnight. 2. The next day, either warm in the oven at 110ºC or in a slow cooker on LOW for 3-4 hours, stirring every now and then to ensure the suet melts evenly.3. One all the fat is melted, remove from the heat and leave to cool completely, stirring regularly to distribute the cooling suet within the mincemeat.4. Once completely cold, add the brandy and stir well. Pot into sterilised jars and seal. This will store for years if sterilised correctly but leave for at least 2 weeks to mature before using – better still after a month or more!
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: Around 6 standard jars of mincemeat.