Sunday, 27 November 2011

Zesty Mincemeat

‘It’s starting to feel a lot like Christmas’…… Well that John Lewis advert is on the TV and random Z list celebrities are turning on lights in town centres across the country. I usually aim to avoid anything vaguely festive before December 1st at the earliest. But this year I decided to make my own mincemeat and to allow the flavours to mature a bit I thought I had better get into the Christmas spirit a little prematurely. I' ve also used a recipe that doesn’t contain any suet, as is traditional, and there are no nuts involved so it is suitable for vegans, veggies and nut allergy sufferers!

200ml cider
The zest and juice of 1 orange
The zest and juice of 1 lemon
300g dark brown sugar
1kg cooking apples (cored and grated)
225g sultanas
225g raisins
125g dried cranberries
2 teaspoons mixed spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
50ml Grand Marnier (or other orange liqueur)

Put the cider, zest and juice from the orange and lemon and the sugar into a large saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.

Then add all of the other ingredients to the saucepan excluding the Grand Marnier. Bring the mixture to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer steadily for 40-50 minutes until the liquid has reduced and the grated apple has cooked and broken down to more of a paste like consistency.

Allow to cool slightly and then add the Grand Marnier to the mixture.

This can be used straight away to make mince pies or stored in sterilised jars until a little closer to Christmas!


There are a number of methods that can be used to sterilise jars but I usually do as follows;

Pre-heat  the oven on to 140 deg C.

Wash the jars in hot soapy water and then place upside down on a baking tray. Place the tray in the oven for 10 minutes and then turn off the heat, but leave the jars in the oven for another 20-30 minutes (so this could be done as you are making the mincemeat).

Finally take the jars from the oven, handling with oven gloves as the jars will still be hot, fill with the mincemeat mixture and cover the mixture with a circle of greaseproof paper before covering the jar with a circle of clingfilm or cellophane.

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