I don’t think the C word should be mentioned before December but I do believe that it’s all about mince pies! And it’s on miserable rainy days like this that it’s nice to be stuck in the kitchen making something tasty and homely.
I made this mincemeat last year and it was a real success…. I kid you not I got marriage proposals from a few people who tried the mince pies (they may have been drunk)! So I thought I’d make it again this year and it’s best made in November so the flavours have time to get really awesome. I realise it’s not as cheap or quick as just buying a jar but I think it’s worth it; it tastes so rich and it’s not just mush (you can see the raisins etc in it). It’s especially worth it if you like to give edible things as gifts because it’s extra special and you’ve put all the effort in. You could just gift it away in a Kilner jar if you have friends who are mincemeat enthusiasts or bake mince pies! I shall post the mince pie recipe I used a bit further down the line, I made deep ones with Viennese type pastry and they were pretty good!
I found this recipe in last years BBC Goodfood magazine and it’s by Mary Berry. I couldn’t find it on their website so here it is:
makes: 4x 370g jars
175g dried cranberries
100g mixed peel
1 small cooking apple, peeled cored and finely chopped
125g butter, cut into cubes
50g whole blanched almonds, roughly chopped
225g light muscovado sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp mixed spice
zest and juice of 1 lemon
– Put all of the ingredients except the alcohol into a large pan. Heat gently, allowing the butter to melt, then simmer very gently, stirring occasionally for about 10 mins.
– Allow the mixture to cool completely, then stir in the alcohol.
– Spoon the mincemeat into sterilised jars.
‘I prefer the flavour of butter to suet in mincemeat (which makes it suitable for vegetarians) but use suet if you wish. Butter makes the mincemeat look slightly cloudy in the jar but this disappears once cooked.’
If you have a little left over which isn’t worth putting in another jar, mash it up in vanilla ice-cream! Very tasty! Might try make some home-made mice pie ice cream with this batch!