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Sunday, 11 December 2011

Fruity Mincemeat Recipe

I struggle with mincemeat & mince pies (the fruit kind). I hate mixed peel & currants, ugh makes me cringe just thinking of it. So Christmas has always seen me eat 1 mince pie just to get into the spirit & eat only my mums Christmas pudding (fantastic) any other is anathema to me! I have never in all my years thought about making my own, let alone cutting out the horrors!!!!
Well suddenly here we are in a country where we cannot get mincemeat in a jar & a FB friend asked why I didn't make my own? I seemed to think it would be one of those practically impossible things to do, but she inspired me to try & for this I am very grateful, its been a blast :-)))) Thank you Frances Connelley x
I had a word with my mum after trawling Google LOL & now use an old family recipe adapted to my taste & what I can find here, without too much running around!.
If you, are a mincemeat virgin, I recommend you have a go, its fun & exciting :-) substitute what you don't like for what you do. For ex pats in Bulgaria or soon to be ex pats I will put photos of the dried fruit I used as I have no idea what it is????

So here is my recipe & observations.........

8 oz Apples cored & chopped small (not peeled)
4 oz Suet (if you can't get suet, like here in Bulgaria, substitute with butter) Fortunately I had some :-)
4 oz Dark Sultanas
4 oz Light Sultanas
2 oz Dried Cranberries, chopped
4 oz Cherries, I used my home grown brandy infused cherries, but glacé is OK or preserved if you cant get hold of glacé. I also use cocktail & add some of the juice..
4 oz Candied mixed fruit chopped finely
6 oz soft Muscavado dark brown sugar
1 Orange, Grated zest & juice
1 Lemon, grated zest & juice
Some Cherry juice (if using Cocktail cherries)
1 oz of slivered Almonds
2 tsp Mixed spice
1 scant tsp Cinnamon
2 pinch of Fresh grated Nutmeg
4 tbs good Brandy (no homemade Rakia in this LOL)
Combine everything in a large bowl, but NOT the brandy, one ingredient at a time stirring after each item added. Make sure its all combined well. Cover with a clean cloth & stand overnight so that all the flavours meld together.
Next day, pre heat oven low as possible, cover bowl loosely with foil & bake in oven for 2 - 3 hours, stirring a few times.
Remove from oven & cool.
It will be swimming in fat, stir regularly while it is cooling down.  When it is cold, stir again & add the brandy. Mix this in well, pack into sterilised jars & seal.
Personally I can't wait to try it. It smells gorgeous & tastes divine so I can only hope it tastes even better in two weeks time, when I make the pies!

This will keep for years so it is possible to make large batches & leave to mature :-)

Play around with your ingredients, use figs or dates etc suit it to your own taste & enjoy.

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