dinsdag 20 december 2011

Homemade mincemeat

Mince pies and Christmas go hand in hand. I always make my own mince pies but I dont always make my own mincemeat. This year however I did, and I must say it was very easy, the smell was extremely festive and the taste ...quite delicious. When I do buy the jars, at Tuckerbox, Leiden or in the UK, I usually end up adding extra ingredients anyway. Now I know just how simple it is I don’t think I need to, ever again.
Its not too late, hurry into the kitchen, grab your apron! It wont be Christmas without them!
I Kind of based my recipe on a few I found on the internet. I wanted to make mince pies the following day so couldn’t use a recipe that needed to stand for 24 hours. I wanted to use my favourite ingredients. This is what I came up with. It was deliciously moist, therefore the fruit was plump and full of flavour:

2 apples, finely diced, skins on (I only had Royal Gala so that had to do)
110gr suet (I suppose you could use butter)
120gr sultanas
110gr currants
100gr cherries, halved (I only had cocktail cherries but normally I would use glace)
75gr dried cranberries
100gr apricots (or you could be authentic and use candied peel)
175gr brown sugar
grated zest and juice 1 lemon
grated zest and juice 1 orange
1 heaped tbsp mixed spice/ (I used Dutch speculaas spice)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground ginger
good pinch nutmeg
50ml cranberry juice
3 tbsp brandy
45gr walnuts, chopped

In a pan combine and mix all (except nuts and brandy) ingredients well. Bring to the boil and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the nuts and brandy and stir well. When cooled store in a clean pot in the refrigerator.
I reckon this makes enough for about 40 mince pies. I like to fill mine generously.

I actually made two batches this year. I tried the Jamie Oliver ones that are open but somehow my pastry just wasn't as crisp as it normally is and somehow they didn't look quite like right..My second attempt was with 200gr plain flour, &100gr whole wheat flour etc see recipe here and were so much nicer, and healthier.
Traditionally mince pies are served warm with brandy butter or a dollop of cream.

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