Luxury Sweet Mincemeat
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    Makes about 3 x 250g jars
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The wonderful thing about making your own mincemeat is that it’s hugely satisfying but also very easy. This recipe is simple to prepare but it’s one for a rainy weekend when you have a little bit more time on your hands, as the mixture needs to stand overnight and then be cooked the next day. The warm, sweet smell of the baking mincemeat will linger and fill your home with a wonderful aroma.

It’s best to make this mincemeat at least six weeks before Christmas to allow the flavours to blend, mellow and mature.

I sometimes get a bit over-enthusiastic with the quantity of mincemeat that I make and end up with more than I know we’re going to be able to eat. However, a jar of mincemeat makes a pretty gift and it does keep well, so you can still make my delicious Festive Power Bars long after Christmas is over – the bars make an indulgent breakfast.

My Luxury Bite-size Mince Pies or Spiced Christmas Biscuits are also a lovely way to serve the mincemeat around Christmas time, and make a perfect afternoon snack served with a cup of tea.

Ingredients & Method

  • 120g raisins
  • 80g sultanas
  • 80g currants
  • 25g chopped mixed peel
  • 25g dried stoned prunes, chopped
  • 120g soft dark brown sugar
  • 200g (prepared weight) cooking apples, peeled, cored and coarsely grated
  • 80g shredded vegetable or beef suet
  • finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
  • finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 25g flaked almonds, chopped
  • 25g pecan halves, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 50ml brandy

Place all the ingredients, except the brandy, in a mixing bowl and mix together thoroughly. Cover and leave to stand in a cool place overnight to allow the flavours to develop.

The next day, preheat the oven to 120°C/Gas Mark ½. Transfer the mincemeat mixture to a large, deep roasting tin and cover the tin with foil. Bake in the oven for 2 hours – by this time the grated apple will have broken down and the mixture will have become much darker in colour. Remove from the oven and leave the mixture to cool slightly, then stir in the brandy.

Spoon the warm mincemeat into hot, sterilised jars. Cover with the lids and seal. Once cold, label and store in a cool, dry cupboard. Store for at least 2 weeks (but preferably 6 weeks) before using. The unopened jars of mincemeat should keep well in a cool, dry cupboard for up to 6 months. Once opened, keep in the fridge and use within 1 month.