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Christmas Mincemeat Recipe
Christmas just wouldn't be the same without mincemeat. When the festive season comes around, millions of people in the UK treat themselves to mince pies. Traditionally, mincemeat was made using a blend of meat and fruits but most modern recipes don't contain meat. They are a mix of rich, delicious fruit, suet and spices, very often blended together with a generous splash of brandy. Recent years have seen an explosion of different types of mincemeat in the shops, ranging from the cheap and cheerful, to luxurious recipes with the finest quality fruits and expensive alcohol.
There are lots of different varieties of mincemeat to buy in jars so you can make mince pies and other Christmas goodies, or you can make your own. Alcohol is usually used both to act as a preservative and to add a rich, deep flavour to the mincemeat, but it is possible to make varieties without it. Here, I have given a recipe for a fairly traditional mincemeat, as well as one for a version which uses cranberries. You can choose to make them as I have suggested, or leave the alcohol out. Just remember, if you don't add the brandy, the mincemeat will not keep for as long.
Do you like these mincemeat recipes?
- 2oz apples
- 2oz suet, vegetarian is prefereable
- 2 oz raisins
- 2 oz currants
- 2 oz sultanas
- 2 oz candied peel, orange and lemon
- 2 oz demerara sugar (unrefined brown sugar)
- zest and juice of 1 orange
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 1 fluid once whisky or brandy
- Peel and core the apples and cut into small chunks (approximately the same size as the currants, raisins and sultanas)
- Place the apples, dried fruits and suet into a large bowl and mix together.
- Now add in the sugar, orange zest and juice and the brandy. Adding alcohol is optional, but the mincemeat will not keep for as long without it.
- When everything is stirred together, cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave for 24 hours so that the flavours all blend together. The mincemeat will need to be stirred regularly, so get the whole family involved and ask everyone in the household to give it a stir when they're passing by.
- After 24 hours, spoon the mincemeat into clean glass jars and seal. You can store this for about a month before use.
Using cranberries instead of raisins gives a nice alternative to the traditional mincemeat. The ingredients you will need are::
- 2 oz unsalted butter
- 4 oz demerara sugar (unrefined brown sugar)
- 10 fl oz orange juice
- 3 tsp mixed spice
- 5 oz apples
- 5 oz sultanas
- 5 oz currants
- 5 oz candied peel of orange and lemon
- 5 oz cranberries
- 6 fl oz whisky or brandy.
To make the cranberry mincemeat:
Peel and core the apples and cut into chunks.
Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the orange juice, sugar and spices.
Add in the dried fruits and apples and stir well so that everything is coated with the liquid.
Bring to the boil and simmer until the apples have softened.
Allow to cool and then add the brandy or whisky and stir into the fruit mixture well. Adding alcohol is optional, but remember, you can't preserve the mincemeat without the alcohol and it does add a good depth of flavour. .
Pour the cooled mincemeat into clean glass jars and seal tightly. The mincemeat will keep for up to a month.
Puff Pastry Mince Pies
You can make traditional shortcrust pastry mince pies but I prefer puff pastry, so those are what I make. Puff pastry is one of the few things I don't mind getting ready made from the store. It saves a lot of time and the results are generally as good, so I buy a high quality puff pastry, ready rolled into sheets to make my mince pies.
To make these mince pies, pre-heat your oven to 220 C / 400 F.
You will need two sheets of puff pastry. Lay out one sheet of pastry on a clean, lightly floured surface and spoon generous mounds of mincemeat onto it, leaving a large gap between each. Then brush the pastry around the mounds of mincemeat with egg wash. Carefully lay the other sheet of pastry over the top and press it down around the spoonfuls of mincemeat. Taking a large cookie cutter, cut out around the mincemeat-filled domes of pastry. Now take the mincemeat pies and place them on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Brush the tops with egg wash and sprinkle with brown sugar. Cut a tiny slit in the top of each pie and place the pies into the oven. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm with some brandy butter, custard or ice-cream. The mince pies are also good on their own.