Monday, 14 December 2015

Mum's Mincemeat and My Last Minute Version

Have you all realised it's Christmas next week! ......... well, I do know this -  but last week and over the weekend - it still seemed weeks and weeks away - now suddenly today I feel that it's really close and I am not at all ready.

We are all heading off to Mum's this year, so it's not all up to me to cook, prepare and host Christmas this year - which is actually a really nice change. However, because of that I haven't made ot bought  any of my usual extras - we haven't made a Christmas cake, or mincemeat, or puddings ..... not even a mince pie has gone into the oven - and now I feel like it's not really Christmas unless I do a little baking. Luckily, my Mum is prepared and has done all her pre-Christmas prep so I lovely big jar of mincemeat appeared in my basket at our last visit.

However, if your not so lucky and have a homemade jar given to you, do not despair I have a fab last minute recipe for mincemeat that tastes fantastic and can be made at very short notice - I've even been know to mix up a bowl on Christmas Eve and no one was any the wiser!

So first of all Mum's recipe....

450g Brambly apples - peeled and diced
225g Vegetarian suet
350g Flame raisins
225g Sultanas
225g Currants
225g Whole candy peel - cut into large chunks
350g Soft dark brown sugar
Zest and juice 2 oranges
Zest and juice 2 lemons
60g Whole almonds - chopped
4 teaspoons mixed spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
few gratings from a whole nutmeg
6 tablespoons brandy

Mix everything together, except the brandy, in a large oven proof bowl or casserole pot. Cover and leave overnight. In the morning give the bowl a good mix and loosely cover with foil. Place in a cool over (110C/Gas 1/4) for 3 hours. Stir the mixture every hour to distribute all the flavours and to stop any areas drying out.
Remove from the oven and allow it to cool completely. Make sure you give it a good stir every so often to keep all the fruit coated in the liquid. Once cool add the brandy and pot up into sterilised jars. This mincemeat keeps really well - last year I found an unopened jar from the year before and it was perfect!

Mum's Mincemeat Recipe

Now for my quick last minute mixture .......

100g Raisins - plump juicy ones
100g Sultanas - again as large and plump as you can get
100g ready to eat prunes - chopped
75g Glace cherries - chopped
75g Almonds - chopped
100g Mixed candy peel - the chopped variety
Zest and juice lemon
Zest and juice orange
200ml unsweetened apple juice
140g soft dark brown sugar
80ml Dark rum
80ml Brandy
2 teaspoons mixed spice
pinch salt
large knob butter

Extra rum and brandy to finish.

Pop everything into a saucepan and place over a medium to high heat. Bring to the boil and lower the heat to let it simmer. Keep stirring until the sugar has dissolved and then let it continue to cook, stirring now and again, until all the juices have become a syrupy liquid and have almost evaporated. Remove from the heat and add 3 extra tablespoons of both brandy and rum to the mix it desired. Allow to cool completely before use. Now you can use this straight away but if you leave it over night the flavours become richer and it's even better.

Last Minute Mincemeat

And if your going to all the trouble of make your mincemeat into mince pies you need to make a a really good pastry to go with it all ...... here's our family sweet, short crust, lemon pasty recipe ....


Sweet, short crust lemon pastry

Have a great start to your week
Love Lizx