Home-made Christmas Mincemeat with Cranberries

If you've never made mincemeat before, the one thing that will probably surprise you is how dead simple it is. Here's how to make your own, giving the traditional recipe a new twist with some cranberries. This mincemeat can be made with vegetarian suet.

Makes 6 lb (2.75 kg)

This recipe first appeared in Sainsbury’s Magazine (May 1997). This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Winter Collection.

Home-made Christmas Mincemeat with Cranberries
 1 lb (450 g) fresh cranberries
 8 oz (225 g) Bramley apples, unpeeled, cored and chopped small
 8 oz (225 g) shredded suet
 12 oz (350 g) raisins
 8 oz (225 g) sultanas
 8 oz (225 g) currants
 8 oz (225 g) whole mixed candied peel, finely chopped
 12 oz (350 g) soft dark brown sugar
 grated zest and juice 2 oranges
 grated zest and juice 2 lemons
 2 oz (50 g) whole almonds, cut into slivers
 4 level teaspoons mixed ground spice
 ½ level teaspoon ground cinnamon
 fresh nutmeg, grated
 6 tablespoons brandy
You will also need four 0.5 litre jars, plus 4 waxed discs to cover your mincemeat.


All you do is combine the above ingredients, except for the brandy, in a large ovenproof mixing bowl, stirring and mixing them together very thoroughly indeed.

Then cover the bowl with a clean cloth and leave the mixture in a cool place overnight or for 12 hours, so the flavours have a chance to mingle and develop.

After that pre-heat the oven to gas mark ¼, 225°F (120°C).

Then cover the bowl loosely with foil and place in the oven for 3 hours.

Then remove the bowl from the oven. Don't worry about the appearance of the mincemeat – it will look as if it is positively swimming in fat, but this is how it should look.

As it cools, stir it from time to time: the fat will coagulate.

When the mincemeat is quite cold, stir in the brandy. Pack in the jars, which have been washed, dried and heated in a moderate oven for 5 minutes to sterilise, cover with waxed discs and seal. It will keep indefinitely in a cool, dry cupboard, but I think it is best eaten within a year of making.


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