I’ve completed the shopping portion of my Christmas gifts! I know, I know, be proud! Next up is making the chocolates and mince pies.
I love making mince pies from scratch! You can tailor the mincemeat to how you like it and it’s really easy! There are only 4 steps…
But first a quick history of mincemeat. Yes, mince is meat and the original recipe did have minced beef in it. It’s always been a pie filling that can be preserved for long periods of time. From what I gather it’s a kind of ‘throw-it-all-in’ kind of filling that is homey and rural.
I can imagine a ‘my recipe is better than your recipe’ scenario playing out throughout the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries (and now days too…) And over the years mincemeat has got sweeter, more vegetarian, and very commercial!
Here’s my version (and I borrowed from Mary Berry so it’s really her version):
175g of sultanas
175g of raisins
100g of dried cranberries
100g of candied peel
125g of butter
225g of dark muscovado sugar
1 juice and zest of a lemon
1 juice and zest of an orange
1/4 tsp of cinnamon, mixed spice, allspice and ginger
150g glace cherries
- Dump everything but the cherries and the brandy into a pot and melt the butter at a low temperature.
- Simmer for 10-ish minutes, adding the cherries at the 5-minute mark.
- Leave to completely cool. Then add the brandy.
- Put it back on the heat to reduce the liquid a bit. (Or add less brandy than I did…)
Then wait for it to cool again and put it in some jars.. Store it next to your marmite/honey/peanut butter or whatever. Or just use it straight away in your pies. Whatever you do, it’s good for six months.
If you don’t like one of the ingredients swap them out for your favourite dried fruit or nuts (or just use whatever you have in the house). Also why not play around with the sugar types or alcohol or fruit juice?
Because what’s fun about following a recipe word for word?
Here’s an unsexy picture of my mincemeat… I realise now I should have done something Christmasy in the background… but no, have my grotty kitchen counter!
It really comes alive in the pies!
Also don’t just eat a spoonful of it on it’s own you’ll regret it… (I do these stupid things so you don’t have to.)
Thanks for reading!