Mincemeat

Every year we always make our own mincemeat and often we make enough for gifts too. They have always been a huge hit as gifts and everyone comments on how good it tastes. We just love it and this year have enjoyed some very yummy mince pies with our homemade mincemeat.

We thought we’d share the recipe with you, it’s from an old traditional cook book and its a much loved recipe. Obviously we made it vegan but that was easy to do as all we had to do was use vegetable suet instead of beef suet and to make sure the alcohol we were using was suitable for  vegans and that was pretty much it to make it vegan. We’d like to add that as previous omnivores we always thought stupidly that changing  the suet to veg suet would make it taste not as good. How wrong we were, seriously you don’t notice at all and it tastes just as good/the same.

Mincemeat

Serves 4 1/2 – 5 lb yield approx | Prep 15 mins | Time 48 hours plus time to mature (recipe suggests 1 month but it’s fine left for shorter time) | Extra prep/time needed to sterilize jars

Ingredients

1/2 lb Cooking Apples (we use Bramley Apples)
1/2 lb Currants
1/2 lb Raisins
1/2 lb Sultanas
4 oz Glacé Cherries
4 oz Chopped Mixed Peel
4 oz Shelled Walnuts
8 oz Shredded Suet
1lb Demerara Sugar
2 level tsp Mixed Spice
4 fl. oz. Brandy (we usually add an extra glug of this 24 hours into the fruit swelling time)

* Buy the best quality dried fruit that you can, it does make a difference. Also if your not a fan of nuts this recipe is perfectly fine without the walnuts. I’m not a nut lover but actually enjoy the walnuts in this recipe.

Method

1.) Peel, core and chop the apples into small pieces (I dice them). Finely chop the glacé cherries, I dice these too.

2.) Get a large mixing bowl or even a plastic washing up bowl (just make sure they are  thoroughly clean, we tend to use our dishwasher) and mix in the dried fruits, nuts and apples. Blend in the suet, sugar and spice.

3.) Add enough brandy to give a moist mixture. We basically pour in 4 fl. oz. of brandy into the bowl and mix. Cover the bowl with a cloth and leave for 48 hours for the fruit to swell. This  is where we, after around 24 hours add a glug more brandy and mix it in and then recover the bowl and leave it for the remaining time.

4.) Stir well and put the mincemeat into clean jars.

How to clean and sterilise jars

We steralise our jars by first washing them, we use a dishwasher but you can do this by hand just make sure you rinse well. Then we put the jars and lids (separately) on a tray and put them in the oven on 100°c for 30 minutes. If you have a jam funnel do this as well, if not don’t worry and just use a clean spoon (don’t add the spoon to the oven) you can always pour boiling water over the spoon before using. You can let them cool down before adding the mincemeat which you can’t do with jam. Just be careful when adding the mincemeat to the jars by minimum touch as your trying to keep it as sterilised as possible. If you are using jars with pop down lids then please note they will not work but this is nothing to worry about (the reason is because the mincemeat is cold when added compared to jam which is hot).

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