Well I missed Stir-up Sunday but I did manage to get round to making my mincemeat this week. It is worth making just for having the smell of Christmas in the house for a couple of days whilst it sits and soaks. I used Delia Smith’s recipe as a guide but added dried sour cherries and pecan nuts – two of my favourite things. I made the first batch last night, baking twelve and freezing twelve, and I am deeming this mincemeat a success. They get eaten pretty quickly in this house as the girls are both fans of a mince-pie too. I am looking forward to making the next batch already. I use vegetarian suet so that I can offer them to anyone who may call.
This recipe makes 6lb (2.75kg) of mincemeat.
450g Bramley apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped (I used two large apples to get this weight)
200g vegetarian suet
100g dried sour cherries
200g whole candied peel, chopped finely
350g soft dark brown sugar
grated rind and juice of 2 oranges
grated rind and juice of 2 lemons
50g pecan nuts, chopped
4 tsp mixed spice
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ whole nutmeg, grated
6 tbsp good quality brandy
Mix all of the ingredients, except the brandy, in a large bowl, making sure that everything is well combined. Cover with a cloth and leave to stand for twelve hours. Cover it loosely with foil and then place it in a low oven (120°c, 225°f) for three hours so that the suet melts and covers the rest of the ingredients. This will help preserve the mincemeat for longer. Allow it to go completely cold. Stir the brandy in well (this is when the smell is at its most delicious and really is Christmas in a bowl!) and then spoon into sterile jars and seal.
Mincemeat will last for twelve months in a cool dark place.