I made some mince pies last year for Christmas that were pretty successful but I used shop-bought mincemeat instead (I shouldn’t endorse it, but Morrison’s do a good apricot and brandy variety that worked well). This year I wanted to push the boat out even further and make my own mincemeat as well as the sweetcrust pastry.
This isn’t a post with lots of step by step pictures, purely because you basically put everything into a big bowl and mix thoroughly!
You end up with a wonderful smelling concoction (very boozy, I have to stop myself from opening the jars every day to give it a sniff). The best thing about mincemeat as well is that the longer you leave it to brew and soak up the various juices, the better it tastes when you come to bake with it/use it.
This recipe is also a result of me looking at a million different websites, blogs and books for their version of mincemeat and tweaking it about until I came up with this. You can absolutely change things to suit you better as well. Rum works just as well as brandy, cashews are a good substitute for hazelnuts and raisins would also be yummy. This is my version. Give it a go and see how you get on 🙂
- 100g mixed candied peel
- 100g glacé cherries
- 200g currants
- 200g dried cranberries
- 200g sultanas
- 200g apples (peeled and cored weight)
- 200g suet (beef or vegetarian)
- 100g almonds (chopped)
- 100g hazelnuts (chopped)
- 150g demerara sugar
- 150g dark muscovado sugar
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 lemon (zest and juice)
- 1 orange (zest and juice)
- 160ml brandy
- Wash the cherries, cranberries, sultanas and currants thoroughly in a colander then dry thoroughly with either clean tea towels or kitchen towel.
- Tip into a large mixing bowl then add the chopped apples, suet, nuts, sugars and spices.
- Grate the lemon and orange into the bowl, then squeeze in the juice. Add the candied peel (chopped into small pieces) and alcohol.
- Mix the ingredients for a few minutes until all the fruits/nuts are evenly dispersed.
- Cover the bowl with cling film or foil (I used both!) and leave to stand for 24-48 hours.
- Sterilise the jars by either boiling in hot water for 20 minutes (making sure the jar is completely covered) or by baking in a 220º oven for 15-20 minutes. Set aside to dry completely, ready to put the mincemeat in.
- Pack the mincemeat into the sterilised jars, seal tightly and store in a cool place.
- Use within 6-12 months after making,
NB – this recipe made me just a little under 2kg of mincemeat in total. Hope everyone likes mince pies!