I've never actually made mincemeat before, but I thought I'd give it a go this year. Mince pies can be a little predictable and dull, so I thought I'd devise a recipe that would give a little more oomph! And it can be so easy to get it wrong. I've had those sort of nasty pies that leave a bitter citrus blast in your mouth instead of a warm Christmassy feeling. This recipe works. It has all those lovely rich fruit flavours with a slight citrus freshness, as well as sticky, toffee dates and boozy Madeira, although you can choose whichever alcohol suits you. It's pretty easy to make and will surely impress Father Christmas!
|All the lovely mincemeat ingredients before they are cooked.|
200g chopped prunes
100g chopped dates
50g dried cranberries
450g finely chopped Brambly apples
300g light muscavado sugar
juice and zest of a lemon and orange
2 teaspoons mixed spice
half a teaspoon grated nutmeg
125g ground almonds
5 tablespoons brandy
5 tablespoons Madeira
HOW TO MAKE:
Put all the ingredients (although leave a couple of tablespoons of booze out and add them after the cooking process) into a large bowl and give it a big stir. Cover with clingfilm and leave overnight.
The next day, empty the contents of the bowl into a heavy casserole dish. Cover loosely with tin foil and warm in the oven for 3 hours at 120C, stirring from time to time.
Wash you jars in hot, soapy water and dry thoroughly and sterilise in the oven for 5 minutes at 180C.
It's easiest to sterilise your jars when the mincemeat has cooked. Stir in two tablespoons of your chosen alcohol and fill your jars. The mincemeat will last for a year once stored in a cool, dark place.