Saturday, 2 November 2013

Christmas Mincemeat

I know it's a bit early still to be thinking about Christmas (it is for me anyway) but we've been using up the last of our cooking apples that got blown off in the winds this week. And one thing we always have to make with our apples is mincemeat. I use Delia Smith's recipe - she has a note at the start of the recipe:

"I give you a warning here. Once you've tasted home-made mincemeat in mince pies, you'll never again be able to revert to shop-bought!"

And I have to say I have found this to be true, it is so much better. Here's the recipe if you'd like to try yourself (it's from Delia Smith's Complete Cookery Course by the way, which I do find to be a really good go to book for lots of basic recipes)

450g cooking apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
225g shredded suet
350g raisins
225g sultanas
225g currants
225g mixed peel, finely chopped
350g soft dark brown sugar
Grated rind and juice of 2 oranges
Grated rind and juice of 2 lemons
50g almond flakes
4 tsps mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 a nutmeg, grated
6 tbsp brandy

Just mix all the ingredients together, except for the brandy, in a large bowl, very thoroughly. Cover with a cloth and leave for 12 hours. Then, to prevent fermentation, place it in a cool oven (gas mark 1/4, 225 degrees F or 120 degrees C) for 3 hours. Allow to cool, then stir in the brandy and spoon into jars and seal.

See, how easy is that? And even though it is so easy, I frequently mess it up and put the brandy in right at the start by mistake - but if you do this, don't worry, I find it still works (this year I have actually managed to do it by the book).

I suppose, since we are now into November, that it's time to be getting Christmas cakes and puddings cooked too, which I always love doing purely for the wonderful smells that fill the kitchen. But so far I've not been that organised. How about you - are you well on the way with your Christmas cooking already?

Back again Monday, Sally.

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