Friday, November 18, 2016

Apple & Cranberry Mincemeat - It's beginning to smell a lot like Christmas!

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First published in 2010 - the snow has long since melted!

Now is the time to make mincemeat so that it has time to mature before you make the mince pies. This is in the oven as I type and the house smells divine!

For me, the Christmas season starts as soon as the fruity, spicy, alcoholic aromas of mincemeat rise from the oven. Best of all, it is astonishingly simple to put together and the long slow cooking transforms these simple ingredients into something magical. If kept sealed, my Apple and Cranberry Mincemeat will keep for up to a year* in a cool dry place – assuming that for some strange reason you don’t scoff the lot over Christmas.

*I once found a jar of mincemeat that had moved house twice with us and was still perfectly good after three years… Darina Allen, Ballymaloe's famous stirrer-of-mould-back-into-the-jam, would approve. As she says "Trust your senses. Look at food. Smell it. Taste it - if in doubt, just have a small taste." 

Obviously, common sense must prevail.

Simple ingredients...  

A word of warning: if you make this mincemeat, you will be called upon to perform your magic every year henceforth.
For approximately 4 magical jars (1.5kg in total) you will need
... to pre-heat the oven to 100°C
200g apple, grated
200g raisins
200g sultanas
200g currants
100g dried cranberries
200g dark brown sugar
100g mixed peel
50g walnuts, finely chopped
50g whole almonds, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
a tiny pinch of ground cloves – about one-sixteenth of a teaspoon
125g butter, cut into cubes
grated peel and juice of 1 large orange
grated peel and juice of 1 lemon
6 tablespoons Apple Schnapps (or Brandy, or Whiskey for a more traditional flavour)

You’ll need also an additional 2 tablespoons of whatever alcohol you choose, to stir in at the end.

... magical food (that looks much prettier in jars) and tastes incredible in a pastry case 

1.                          Mix all the ingredients together in a large oven proof dish with a lid. Cover and place in the preheated oven and cook gently for 3 hours, stirring every half hour or so.
2.                          When the cooking time has elapsed, remove from the oven and allow to cool, stirring briefly every half hour until cold.

3.                          Finally, stir a further 2 tablespoons of Apple Schnapps (or Brandy, or Whiskey) into the cold mixture before sealing in clean, dry jars. That’s it, job done. Someone else can make the mince pies!

Someone else can make the mince pies !!!

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Angie Schneider said...

Awesome! Always love spiced fruity mincemeat pies. Can't wait to give this a try!

Angie Schneider said...

Can you cook this on a stove?

Hester Casey, Alchemy in the Kitchen said...

Hi Angie, interesting question. I've never tried it. If you can keep the temperature at 100°C and stir it more frequently to make sure it's not burning, I don't see why not. You might need to add a little apple juice or water if it looks like it is drying out.

Angie Schneider said...

Just made this using my slow cooker (4 hrs on low)...and it was sensational! I changed the recipe a little bit and skipped the candied peels and used dates because the man in the house doesn't like them. Also I used coconut sugar and coconut oil simply because I have them lying in the cupboard. Thank you for this fuss free and divine recipe, Hester.

Hester Casey, Alchemy in the Kitchen said...

Top marks for a great improvisation. That's what cooking is all about :) Love that you used the slow cooker n can't wait to see what you do with the mincemeat. You are always so imaginative so I know it'll be a treat, Angie!

Jill @ Teatime in Paris said...

I've never been a huge mincemeat fan - but Hester, you've made me think again. This looks divine!

Christopher Glenn said...

Being from United States (of America del Norte), where we have never truly converted to metric I'm trying to figure out of your 100C is Centigrade or Celsius? (I'm guessing that at anyrate it's going to be about as low as my oven or crockpot will go anyway?! Thanks
Chris Glenn

Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchen said...

Hi Christopher - the 100°C is indeed Centigrade/Celcius. Another cook has made this recipe in her slow cooker ("4 hrs on low").