Well our kitchen certainly smells like Christmas. The Christmas cake is going to be baked this afternoon so that it can be fed with an (un)healthy quantity booze over the course of the next couple of months before it is iced and presented on Christmas day. The other thing that I have been making is mincemeat. I have never made it before, however when I discovered a jar of absolutely delicious home-made mincemeat that had been maturing gently for several years at the back of my grandmother’s store cupboard I felt I really had better give it a go.
- Juice and zest of an orange
- Juice and zest of a lemon
- 8 oz currants
- 5 oz raisins
- 8 oz sultanas
- 4 oz cherries (cut into quarters)
- 3 oz mixed peel
- 8 oz cooking apples (peeled, cored and grated)
- 8 oz suet
- 2 oz chopped walnuts
- 14 oz demerara sugar
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 wine glasses of brandy
- Place all the ingredients except the suet and brandy in a large bowl. Mix together well, cover and leave overnight.
- The following day add the suet to the bowl, stir well, before placing in a large roasting tray and cooking at 100C fan for 1 ½ hours.
- Remove from the oven and add half of the brandy to the fruit. Pack the fruit into sterilised jars and top up with a little brandy before sealing.
Note: When the mincemeat cools down there will be a slight layer of fat at the top of the jar. This is not a problem – just make sure you stir the mincemeat thoroughly before using.