My two favourite things about Christmas are crackers and mince pie. During the festive season, I can be seen scouring mince pies across London to find the best. This year I have decided to up my game and do my own. The first step towards this exciting endeavour is making mincemeat. I think the very traditional and origins of this recipe did use actual meat but most modern recipes do without it. It does use beef tallow known a suet, for vegetarians there is vegetarian suet.
You can use the mincemeat right away for pies but I am going to try to wait a couple of weeks to let it really steep.
My base recipe was Delia’s excellent homemade Christmas mincemeat. I added dates and cranberries. I also put slightly less suet and sugar. The candy peels are the ones that I made over the summer the recipe can be found here. I am going to try to do variations by substituting brandy with calvados or whisky.
- 3 apples cut into small pieces
- 2 tbsp allspice
- 2 tsp anise star
- 1 tsp cloves
- 1tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 350g raisins
- 225g sultanas
- 30g cranberry
- 6 dates chopped into small pieces
- 225g candied peels
- 250g brown sugar
- 200g suet
- Zest of 2 oranges
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 200g crushed almonds
- 7 tbsp brandy
2. Leave the mixture to settle in covered and in a cool place for about 12 hours.
3. Heat the oven to 200ºC and put in your mincemeat mixture in an oven proof pan and leave in the oven 3.5 hours. It really doesn’t look pretty when it comes out but it does taste and smell delicious I promise.
4. Leave to cool mixing it once in a while.
5. Once cool add the brandy and mix it well.
6. Sterilize some jars by washing them thoroughly and putting them in the oven at 180ºC for at least 5 min.
7. Put your mincemeat in the sterilised jars. Leave in a dark cool cupboard until you need it.