Sunday, 13 November 2011

Vegetarian Christmas Mincemeat

In our house Christmas baking consists of three main 'food groups': pudding, cake and mince pies. Forget the three wise men with their fancy gifts - these three are the holy trio of Christmas. And they have got to be homemade, especially mince pies. I cannot stand that thick lumpy jar bought version. Homemade mincemeat has got so many lovely flavours, the heat of the spices and the citrus burst of orange and lemon. Mincemeat is so easy to make too, literally it's just mixing the ingredients together. And because butter is used instead of suet it is vegetarian friendly. Stay posted for the final product in a few weeks time when I use this mincemeat encased in a sweet shortcrust pastry.

For the mincemeat (From Neven Maguire- 'Home Cooks')

350 g cooking apples, peeled and diced
225g raisins
225g currants
225g sultanas
110g candied citrus peel
225g butter, melted
6 tbsp brandy
110g flaked almonds
175g dark brown sugar
1 orange, rind grated finely
1 lemon, rind grated finely
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt

Mix all the ingredients together in a big bowl until all the fruit is glossy and covered. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave overnight. Mix well the next day and pack into clean dry jars. Seal and store in a cool dark place for 3-4 weeks before use.

Makes 5-6 regular jam jars.