Home-made Christmas Mincemeat
Once again, over the years we have never found a match for this mincemeat recipe, so if I can persuade you to make it, you will never want the bought stuff ever again.
It really is dead simple to make, though in the past people used to have trouble storing it. This was because the high percentage of apples oozed too much juice and the juice started to ferment. In the following recipe the mincemeat is placed in a barely warm oven and so the suet gradually melts and as this happens it coats all the fruits, including the apples, sealing in the juices.
Vegetarians see note at the end of the Method
Read more about Christmas Home-made Christmas Mincemeat here
This recipe is from Delia's Happy Christmas. Makes 6 350ml jars (recipe can be halved if preferred). Scroll to the bottom of the Method to see questions Lindsey has answered on this recipe
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 120C/gas mark ¼. Cover the bowl loosely with foil and place it in the oven for 3 hours, then remove the bowl from the oven and 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 in the brandy. Pack in sterilised jars (see below). When filled, cover with waxed discs and seal. It will keep in a cool, dark cupboard indefinitely, (I have kept it for up to 3 years), but I think it is best eaten within a year of making.
Vegetarians 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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