Wednesday, 17 December 2008

I'll make mincemeat for ya

Bear and I made some mincemeat today. I checked all my books, but the recipes were so different that I decided to take a bit from them all and make my own! It does seem like the kind of thing you can make up as you go along and the flavour varies so much between ones you buy.
Yesterday for example, on our annual Christmas trip to Cork, we compared mince pies from Heaven’s Cake (who made our wedding cake) and the Alternative Bread Company in the English Market. As you should expect from a little pie that costs €1.50 (!) the Heaven’s mince pie was far superior: good (not soggy) pastry, mincemeat not too sweet, with a lovely cinnamony taste and an unusual crumble topping. Think I might try and recreate it.

Here’s the rundown.... on the off-chance that it turns out nicely and I can’t remember how much of anything I used! Thank you Darina, Nigella & Tamasin for your suggestions! Hee hee....

2 Bramley apples
1 tsp Orange blossom honey from the back of the cupboard (so I could use the jar for the mincemeat)
125g dark muscovado sugar
80 ml port
100g organic mixed peel
100g organic sultanas
125g currants
100g organic raisins
pinch of ginger, mace, ground nutmeg
1tsp or more cinnamon
zest & juice of 1 organic lemon
50g chopped blanched almonds
100g vegetable suet

First, I put the apples in the oven at 180ºC for about 45 minutes (we have a fan oven, so after about 20 minutes, I turned the heat down and cooked them for a bit less time). Then I dissolved the sugar and honey in the port over a low heat. Then, off the heat, added the mixed peel to try and soften it up a bit.
Then I put in the sultanas, currants and raisins and mixed them all together. Next I added the apples after allowing them to cool and taking the skins off.
Then I poured all the fruit from the saucepan into a big bowl and added the almonds and suet. Ta da!

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