I want you to make your own mincemeat
Make my own mincemeat? What on earth for? I can hear you cry.
Well, to impress and show off, of course. And, once you’ve eaten a mince pie with homemade mincemeat, you’ll never eat another shop bought again. Guaranteed.
It’s getting on for that time of year when it’s difficult to avoid the mince pie – you know those utterly dry, weird tasting things that are supposed to sum up the Christmas spirit – I think they actually sum up the Scrooge sort of Christmas spirit – mean and grumpy.
I am on a mission – to introduce you to a great tasting, moist, spicy delicious Christmas produce. I need a little work on your behalf. It’s takes so little preparation, and it is so worth it! And if you are inspired, why not make our Christmas cake too?
Mrs Ellis’ Mincemeat (my mother-in-law, one of the very best cooks I know)
Time: 1/2 hour maximum to prepare and 3 weeks to mature
500 grams of chopped suet* (vegetarian or beef)
500 grams of currants
500 grams of raisins
250 grams of sultanas
500 grams of cooking apples (grated – preferably in a food processor to save your fingers)
100 grams mixed candied peel (chopped)
500 grams caster sugar
2 lemons – take the zest off before you juice them – much easier)
1 teaspoon each of nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon
140 ml brandy
You’ll need a large mixing bowl, two large or 4 small kilner jars or similar (ones that seal with a rubber ring).
Check the fruit over to ensure you’re not including any stalks or branchy bits.
Put all the ingredients together in the large mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly.
Leave to soak for a couple of hours.
Place in jars and seal.
Wait for 3 weeks before using. This lasts for ages and ages. Keep in a cool cupboard.
* Suet is a particularly British thing. If you can’t find it you will need some shredded beef fat.