Home made mincemeat with brandy

mincemeat with brandy

I can already see Italian people puzzling over the word “mincemeat”. Surely you can’t mix minced meat with brandy, right? RIGHT! I was puzzled too when I first came to England and realized that there is no meat in this traditional mixture that you use to make mince pies (one of the the traditional sweets to have here at Christmas time). Phew! Mincemeat is actually a sweet concoction made with raisins, sultanas, candy peels, sugar, spices, etc. So why is it called mincemeat? I really don’t know, is the answer. Must go on google and see whether I can find the solution to the riddle. All I know is that traditional mincemeat contains suet which is fat from meat. Could that be the reason why? Anyway, last year I made frangipane mince pies which turned out to be really nice, but I used mincemeat I had bought. This year I decided to make my own. Oh yes! And a cinch it was too! I didn’t use suet for mine but butter, as suggested by the mighty Mary Berry (the inspiration came from watching a Christmas programme with her and Paul Hollywood). I have already used some for the frangipane mincepies but ALSO to fill some Chelsea buns, which I will blog as well. They were both a success.

INGREDIENTS

  • 175 g currants
  • 175 g raisins
  • 175g sultanas
  • 175g dried cranberries
  • 100g mixed peel
  • 1 small cooking apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • 125g butter, cut into cubes
  • 50g whole blanched almonds, roughly chopped
  • 225g light muscovado sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
  • 200ml brandy, rum or sherry (I used less than this as I don’t like a strong taste of alcohol)

METHOD

Measure all of the ingredients except the alcohol into a large pan. Heat gently, allowing the butter to melt, then simmer very gently, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.

Allow the mixture to cool completely then stir in the brandy, rum or sherry.

Spoon the mincemeat into sterilised jam jars, seal tightly, label and store in a cool place.

 

 

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