Home-made Christmas Mincemeat
You can buy some very good mincemeat, but when it is home-made it really is in another league, and once you make it yourself, you'll never look back.
Makes 6 lb (2.75 kg)
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|You will also need 6 x 1lb (350ml) preserving jars and 6 waxed discs.|
This recipe is from Delia's Christmas Easy Magazine 2003
All you do is combine all the ingredients, except for the brandy, in a large mixing bowl, stirring them 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 (110°C).
Cover the bowl loosely with foil and place it in the oven for 3 hours, then remove the bowl from the oven. Don't worry about the appearance of the mincemeat, which will look positively swimming in fat. This is how it should look.
As it cools, stir it from time to time; the fat will coagulate and, instead of it being in tiny shreds, it will encase all the other ingredients.
When the mincemeat is quite cold, stir well again, adding the brandy. Pack in jars that have been sterilised (see below).
When filled, cover with waxed discs and seal. The mincemeat will keep for ages in a cool, dark cupboard - I have kept it for up to 3 years.
Vegetarian can make this mincemeat happily, using vegetarian suet. And if you don't want the full quantity, make half.
NOTE: To sterilise jars, wash the jars and lids in warm soapy water, rinse well, then dry thoroughly with a clean tea cloth, place them on a baking tray and pop into a medium oven, gas mark 4, 350°F, 180°C, for 5 minutes.
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For Delia, this family recipe - made by both her grandmother and mother - brings back happy memories of freshly baked trays of mince pies on Christmas Eve.
Mincemeat, apple, ready-rolled pastry and you're away: what could be easier than this tart, which is perfect at Christmastime, served with custard, cream or brandy butter.
Here is another festive dessert that makes good use of home-made mincemeat. Serve it fairly warm, with Cumberland Rum Butter to melt through the lattice.
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Seriously, these are made in minutes, thanks to ready-made pastry and mincemeat. You can even freeze them and pop them in the oven straight from the freezer: perfect when unexpected guests drop in over Christmas!
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