It’s not too late to make your own mincemeat for Christmas. It tastes significantly better than any you can buy in the shops and will make your kitchen smell lovely and festive.
This is the fourth year I’ve made my own; I’ve tried a different recipe each time. Last year I went for Delia Smith’s. It was definitely the tastiest of them all. This year I’ve adapted it slightly to suit my taste – I used equal amounts of raisins/sultanas/currants and ground most of the spices myself for a fresher flavour. I also added cardamom as it goes well with almonds (and because I love it)! I can’t wait to get mince pie baking. And eating!
Christmas Mincemeat adapted from Delia’s recipe
200g mixed peel
200g shredded suet (I used vegetable)
350g soft dark brown sugar
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp allspice berries
2 cardamom pods
1 whole nutmeg
1 large Bramley apple
6 tbsp rum (or alcohol of your choice)
Place the dried fruit, mixed peel, suet and sugar in a large bowl. Roughly chop the almonds, zest and juice the oranges and lemons and add these to the fruit mix. Grate the nutmeg, and grind the allspice berries, cardamom (discard the outer husks) and cloves in a pestle and mortar. Put these into the bowl along with the cinnamon and ground ginger. Core (but don’t peel) the apple and chop into small pieces. Add this to the bowl and give everything a thorough mixing.
Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave in a cool place overnight to allow the flavours to mix.
The next day, pre–heat the oven to 120ºC. Give the bowl of ingredients a stir and cover loosely with foil. Put in the oven for 3 hours. Once out of the oven, stir and leave to cool. As the mixture cools, stir every now and then to stop the fat forming into lumps. When cold, add the rum and mix well. Put into sterilised jars and store in a cool, dark place. Leave for at least 1 week before using.