Last year I made my own mincemeat, and after discovering just how easy it can be, I now consider it to be an annual holiday tradition in my kitchen. The finished jars of dried fruit, nuts, and spices will sit in the pantry, developing their flavour until it is time to turn them into pies, tarts, palmiers, stuffed mini croissants, and so much more. If you make your own, be sure to do so a few weeks before you need it so as to give the flavours time to mature.
My recipe comes from an older holiday edition of BBC Good Food magazine and it comes together in about 20 minutes (10 minutes cook time). Honestly, nothing could be easier or tastier.
This recipe uses butter in place of the more traditional suet. The butter makes the mincemeat look slightly cloudy, but this will disappear once its cooked.
175 g/6 oz currants
175 g/6 oz raisins
175 g/6 oz sultanas
175 g/6 oz dried cranberries
100 g/4 oz mixed peel
1 small cooking apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped (I used Granny Smith)
125 g/4.5 oz butter, cut into cubes
50 g/2 oz whole blanched almonds, roughly chopped
225 g/8 oz light muscovado sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice*
zest and juice of 1 lemon
200 ml/7 fl oz brandy, rum or Sherry
Allow the mixture to cool completely and then stir in the alcohol.
Spoon the mincemeat into sterilized jars. Seal tightly and store in a cool place.
*To make your own mixed spice: combine 1 tsp coriander, 1 tsp ginger, 1 tbsp allspice, 1 tbsp cinnamon, 1 tbsp nutmeg, 2 tsp mace, and 1 tsp cloves.