Mincemeat

Mincemeat jar
Homemade Christmas mincemeat

Making mincemeat is a wonderful (and pretty simple – always a win) way of easing yourself into Christmassy festivities. Gather together an array of dried fruits, grab your favourite huge stove-top pan, pop on some Christmas music, and enjoy the spicy and warming aromas filling your home.

This recipe is pretty traditional in that it consists of dried fruit, citrus zest, spice alcohol, orange juice and fat. Yum. And it’s just perfect for the mince pie recipe that will be appearing on isthisfood.co.uk very soon.

Notes on my recipe

Fats

I’ve used butter in this recipe rather than suet. Last year, I made suety mincemeat and although it was mostly delicious, the suet didn’t melt as much as I would have liked, retaining the kind of ‘crunch’ in my mince pie that I just wasn’t really down with. So butter it is.

Dried fruit

You’re safe to be fairly carefree in terms of following some elements of this recipe to the letter. Although not the nutmeg. Don’t wanna over-nutmeg. But if you’re not a huge sultana fan but just love dried cranberries, feel free to sub those in. This rule stands for all of the dried fruit listed below. Make sure you have 800g of dried fruit but beyond that, the fruits and proportions I used are mere suggestions/what I had in that needed using.

Ingredients makes enough for three 370g jars

  • 215g mixed dried fruit
  • 100g raisins
  • 100g sultanas
  • 50g glace ginger
  • 75g glace cherries
  • 40g flaked almonds
  • Zest and juice of two oranges
  • 1 apple, cubed and depipped
  • 125g butter, cubed
  • 150g dark brown cane sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • 100ml brandy

Method

  1. Pop all of the ingredients apart from the orange juice and brandy into a large pan and heat gently so that the butter melts completely. Bring the pan to a low simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring every now and then.
  2. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool completely. This can take a while. try not to eat too much of the half-made mincemeat at this stage. I know it’s a struggle.
  3. When cool, mix in the brandy and orange juice.
  4. Spoon into sterilised jars where it should keep for up to a few months if noted in a cool spot (if you fancy getting ready for Christmas in June. Surprisingly, that doesn’t really appeal to me.).

4 Comments

  1. I know what you mean about the suet. It can be offputting if it’s too evident – and some people would dislike it anyway, because they know where it comes from!

  2. Thanks for checking out the recipe, Mark!

    It’s true about the suet. The butter’s a good alternative though. Sampled it this evening in pies and it’s so tasty.

  3. Thank you! Going to use this as my guide.

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