Tuesday 11 December 2012

Advent 11 - Home-made Mincemeat - and Julie Andrews

December 11th

Photo by Syd Spence - thanks Syd
Isaiah 7:14
14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
Click on the arrow to hear a beautiful song by Julie Andrews


If you are going to be making mince pies soon, you’ll need some mincemeat.  You can’t beat home-made mincemeat, however it can be difficult to keep as the juice from the apples can start to ferment, but if you melt the suet first, this coats the fruit and stops that happening. You can double up the quantity to make more, but this recipe makes three, 1 lb jars.

You’ll need:

4 oz (about 113 gm) cooking apples, cored and chopped very finely - you can leave the skin on if you want, or take it off if you prefer.
2 oz (55 gm) shredded suet (I use vegetarian, but it’s your choice. You can use grated hard margarine instead if you wish).
2 oz sultanas (55 gm)
2 oz currants (55 gm)
3 oz raisins (85 gm)
2 oz mixed, candied peel (55 gm)  - that’s 9 oz of mixed dried fruit altogether
2 oz chopped glace cherries ( 55gm)
3 oz soft brown sugar (85 gm)
The grated zest and juice of a lemon and an orange
1 oz (25 gm) flaked almonds – this is optional

 For the spices:

1 teaspoon ground, mixed spice, plus a little (¼ teaspoon) cinnamon
A little freshly ground nutmeg adds that extra oooh factor, but not essential

Put everything into a large oven-proof mixing bowl and give it a good stir. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave the mix to stand overnight so that the fruit can absorb the spices.

You will need to sterilise your jam jars and lids – a hot cycle in a dishwasher does this, or you can wash them in hot, soapy water, rinse them in hot water and put them into the oven at 375F, 190C, gas 5 for about 5-10 minutes. Take care when you remove them to cool.

 Next day, switch the oven on to a low heat;  225F, 120C, gas ¼.  Give the mixture a stir and cover the bowl with foil. Put the bowl into the oven for about 2½- 3 hours. When you take it out, the mincemeat will look very runny and fatty. Leave it to cool and give it a quick stir occasionally until the fat has set round the fruit.

When it’s cold you can put it into the jars, but if you would like boozy mincemeat, add a couple of tablespoons of your favourite tipple – whisky, rum, brandy, sherry – your choice.

Put your home-made mincemeat into your sterile jars, cover and seal.

All ready for the mince-pies.

For more Advent recipes - click on the link to see inside our Advent Recipe Book - available from Amazon

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