If you’ve never made homemade mincemeat, can I tempt you to dip your toe (so to speak) this year? There are heaps of reasons to embrace your mincemeat making mojo. Here are just 5:
1. It’s super easy.
2. It’s way better than shop bought.
3. It smells more festive than a festive thing.
4. It might turn you on to mince pies even if you’ve never liked them before.
5. You get to look at a row of neatly filled jars and feel that warm glow. (Just me that does that then? Oh okay.)
Super Simple No Cook Mincemeat makes 4 large jars
100g Dried cranberries*
175ml Ruby port (or brandy)
Zest and juice of a big orange (you’ll juice half at a time during the recipe)
150g Dark brown Muscovado sugar
150g Light brown Muscovado sugar
(You could use 300g dark brown sugar if you don’t have the Muscovado sugars.)
75g Mixed peel
2 Teaspoons mixed spice
1 Large cooking apple
1. Wash your jars and lids in really hot water.
2. In the meantime, mix the sultanas, raisins and cranberries with the port, orange zest and the juice of half the orange. Leave it for about an hour for the liquid to absorb.
3. Pop your washed jars on a lined baking tray, in an oven at about 150C for 30 minutes. This is to sterilise the jars and make sure your mincemeat stays the way you’ve made it.
4. After an hour of soaking your fruit mix in the suet, sugars, mixed peel and mixed spice. Stir really well. Make sure there are no lumps of sugar and everything is coated in the sugary boozy liquid.
5. Peel and grate or chop your apples into very little pieces. Toss these around with the juice of the other half of the orange. I’ve always chopped into little cubes as I like the texture in the finished mincemeat. If you don’t fancy that, you’re welcome to grate it though.
6. While your jars are still hot, spoon your mixture in. Press it down really firmly as you go. I find it easiest to get stuck in and use clean hands to do this. It’s really important to squish out as many air pockets as you can.
7. Screw the lids on tightly and leave for at least 2 weeks in a dark place before using.
* These are expensive compared to the other dried fruits, you can easily replace with more sultanas or raisins or use currants.
Now pour a Gluhwein and put your feet up whilst marvelling at your fabulous festive make.
PS. I’ll show you how to pretty up your jars tomorrow.