Homemade Christmas Mincemeat

Here it is, my first Christmas recipe.  I’ve been making this mincemeat for a couple of years now.  I know it’s probably easier for some people to go out and buy a jar but this recipe is so easy.   I find it a joy to make as the festive scents of orange and cinnamon fill the kitchen, it is also very adaptable.  I can be a bit fussy when it comes to mincemeat or even Christmas cake as I don’t really like candied peel.  So for this recipe, which is taken by from Delia Smith, I have substituted the candied peel for extra currants and sultanas.  I have also left out 50g almonds, cut into slivers, feel free to add these back in if you fancy them.

Makes six 350ml jars.

You will need;

450g Bramley apples, cored and chopped small (no need to peel)

225g shredded suet

350g raisins

325g sultanas

350g currants

350g darl brown sugar

the grated zest and juice of 2 oranges

the grated zest and juice of 2 lemons

4 teaspoons mixed ground spice

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

whole nutmeg, for grating

6 tablespoons brandy

All you do is combine all the ingredients, except for the brandy, in a large mixing bowl, stirring them and mixing them together very thoroughly.  Then cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave the mixture in a cool place overnight or for 12 hours, so the flavours have a chance to mingle and develop.

After that preheat the oven to 120C/gas mark 1/4, cover the bowl loosely with foil and place it in the oven for 3 hours.  Then remove the bowl from the oven and don’t worry about the appearance of the mincemeat which will look like it’s swimming in fat.  This is how it should look.  As it cools, stir it from time to time; the fat will coagulate and, instead of it being in tiny shreds, it will encase all of the other ingredients.

When the mincemeat is quite cold stir in the brandy.  Pack in sterilised jars, keep in a cool, dark cupboard indefinately, but I think it is best eaten within a year of making.

NOTE  Vegetarians can make this mincemeat, using vegatarian suet.  And if you don’t want the full quantity, make half.

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