Sunday, 30 October 2016


Mincemeat can be very dividing. A lot of people love it but I know a lot who can't stand the stuff. If there is anything that will ever convert people to the joys of mincemeat it will be this recipe! More fresh and fruity than the jarred varieties that are rushed out onto supermarket shelves at this time of year, it's another treat you can add to your Christmas repertoire. It takes literally minutes to whip up a batch which you can use on the same day or store in sterilized jars to really intensify the flavor before baking.

What's great about making your own mincemeat is that you can make it to your personal preference. In the list of ingredients below you will see I've listed 200g of dried grapes. This can be either currents, sultanas or raisins or a mixture of them all. Use what you prefer or what you have in your kitchen already as long as the total weight of them is 200g. Me personally, I think they all taste the same so I just use whatever! 

You also need 250g of any other dried fruit. You could use cranberries and apricots which is what I prefer but a mixture of any dried fruit will work perfectly or if you like you can use just the one type of fruit. Again, just make sure the weight of whatever you use totals 250g. Everything else in the recipe needs to remain the same unless your are not a fan of cinnamon or nutmeg. If not, replace it with something equally as Christmassy such as all or mixed spice. You need that punch of really classic Christmas flavors to really bring that mincemeat vibe home.

This next bit is for adults only! You can add a splash of booze in with the orange juice as well if you like. Amaretto is my weapon of choice but have a play around with other tipples like brandy or whisky if you have any knocking about. Santa will thank you for it!

Make sure you have sterilized air tight jars around 1.5 litres in volume ready if your not going to use the mincemeat straight away and get ready for the recipe that will show you how simple it is to make a delicious homemade mincemeat. OK, you do have to leave the mincemeat to soak for 2 hours before using so it's not really "mincemeat in a minute" but it's a few minutes of effort needed to create this magical mincemeat. A great recipe to do on a lazy afternoon;

Homemade Mincemeat

Zest Of 2 Lemons
Zest Of 2 Small Oranges
Juice Of Small 6 Oranges
1 Tsp Amaretto (Optional)
1 Large Grated Apple
200g Dried Grapes Of Your Choice
250g Other Dried Fruits Of Your Choice
200g Soft Light Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon
1 Tsp Grated Nutmeg
175g Vegetable Suet 

  1. Add the lemon and orange zest into a very large bowl along with the orange juice. Add your Amaretto now too if using and give everything a good mix.
  2. Add the dried grapes and fruits, then the sugar, followed by the cinnamon, nutmeg and finally the suet, giving everything a good mix after each addition so that everything is well combined.
  3. Cover with film and leave for 2 hours to allow any excess moisture to be sucked up by the fruits and suet.
It's that simple. You now have two options. You can now either use a slotted spoon to transfer your mince meat into mini shortcrust cases to make some delicious mince pies straight away or transfer it all into sterilized jars for up too three months if you want to make it in advance so that it's has more time to soak up all those Christmas flavors. Store in a cool, dry place and just give it a little shake every now and then to freshen it up. You now have a mincemeat full of fruity zing and tang which is much more exciting than shop bought. Santa's gonna love the pies you make with this mincemeat. You'll definitely be on his good list!

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