Monday, December 1, 2008

Fruit Mincemeat

I continued my Christmas cooking over the weekend with inspiration from Michaela of The Stash Basket. Michaela made some yummy looking mincemeat recently which definitely caught my eye! While I stayed close to Michaela’s recipe, I did have to change a couple of things: I wasn’t able to get my hands on any fresh or frozen cranberries, so I used dried cranberries as an alternative. I also substituted butter for the suet, as I could only find suet mix (~50% suet and 50% wheat flour) and my husband vetoed my idea of being traditional and using beef suet!

Christmas Mincemeat

170g bag of dried cranberries
2 large Granny Smith apples (no need to peel – core both, then I grated one and finely chopped the other)
1kg mixed dried fruit
350g soft dark brown sugar
zest and juice of 2 oranges and 2 lemons
50g flaked almonds
2 ½ heaped teaspoons mixed spice
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
125g butter
6 tablespoons of good brandy

Put dried cranberries in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow to soak for approximately 30 mins or until cranberries have become plump and juicy. Drain and rinse in cold water.

Cranberries after soaking

Mix cranberries, dried fruit, apples, brown sugar, zest and juice of oranges and lemons, almonds and spices together in a large container and cover. Refrigerate overnight to allow fruit to start absorbing the juices and to allow flavours to mingle. At this stage, pop your butter into the freezer so it is super cold tomorrow for the next step.

Ready for the fridge

The next day, preheat the oven to 120C (or 100C fan forced). Grate the frozen block of butter using the large holes on your grater, then mix well through the fruit/juice/sugar/spice mix.

Grated butter - it got a bit messy!

Place mixture into an oven proof dish and cover with foil. Place in the oven and cook for 3 hours (I took it out after an hour and a half to gave it a good stir and then returned it to the oven).

About to go in the oven

Allow fruit mince to cool for 15 mins, then stir in 6 tablespoons of brandy. Meanwhile, sterilise jars for storing the mincemeat – place clean jars and lids upside down on a baking sheet, and bake at 180C for 10-15mins. Transfer jars (still upside down) to a clean tea towel to cool slightly. Transfer mincemeat to jars while both are still warm and cover.

After 3 hours of cooking - the smell was heavenly!

Due to the butter being used in place of suet – Margaret Fulton (via her book Margaret Fulton's Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery) tells me that the mincemeat needs to be stored in the fridge.

And because I didn’t have enough jars for all the mincemeat I made – we had mince pies for dessert last night!


Lorraine E said...

Interesting! I never knew that mincemeat had quite a bit of butter in it. I usually buy it. Good on you for making it from scratch!

Annie said...

Any chance of one of those jars landing in my stocking this year?

Simone de Klerk said...

You are a very busy lady! Looks yummie what you made (O:

Renee said...

Hey Lorraine - traditionally the fat in mincemeat is beef suet (the hard fat from around the kidneys), but butter or vegetable suet (hydrogenated vegetable oil) can be used as a substitute. They sound more palatable too!

Annie - nope it's all mine! ;)

Thank Simone - I have been busy, but only really with sewing and cooking!!

A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

Your mincemeat looks divine! So much nicer than the purchased one I usually get from teh supermarket. Love how you added the cranberries. I must give this one a try.

Annette said...

Your fruit mince sounds and looks delicious. My mouth is watering for some!!! Well done for making it yourself.

Sheryl said...

Yummy yummy these chrissie recipes look delish, will have to try a couple.. have a great day.