Ultimate Christmas mincemeat
Here is the best tried and tested recipe for the ultimate Christmas mincemeat to create memorable mince pies that really sum up the festive season. You can buy it ready made in the shops, but why bother when homemade is so easy, so much more delicious, and so much part of the preparation fun? Make mincemeat well ahead if you get the chance because those complex flavours will mature so much better if you do. You can store it in sterilised jars for weeks in a cool, dark place but refrigerate once opened. This recipe uses the traditional suet, which makes it unsuitable for vegetarians. But you can always replace the suet with butter if you have to, and some people prefer it anyway.
- 4½ ounces / 125g cooking apples, peeled, cored and roughly grated
- 4½ ounces / 125g pink lady apples, peeled, cored and roughly grated
- 6¼ ounces / 175g raisins
- 1¾ ounces / 50g currants
- 1¾ ounces / 50g sultanas
- 2¾ ounces / 75g cranberries
- 2¾ ounces / 75g dried cherries
- zest and juice of 1 orange
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- ½ tablespoon of mixed spice
- 2¾ ounces / 75g Atora suet
- 5½ ounces / 150g dark soft brown sugar
- 2¾ fluid ounces / 75ml brandy
Place all of the ingredients (except the brandy) in a mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
Cover with Clingfilm and leave for several hours (or preferably overnight) to steep.
Preheat the oven to 140°C / 284°F (120°C / 248°F fan) and place the mincemeat into a roasting dish.
Cover with foil and cook in the oven for 2 hours, stirring several times, always replacing the foil.
After the cooking time, leave to cool then give another good stir to combine before adding the brandy. Stir in thoroughly then use immediately in mince pies or transfer to sterilized jars.
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