Christmas Mincemeat

Making your own mincemeat is a lovely way to start your festive preparations, and if you make enough you can keep it to use next year as well. Feel free to personalise the recipe. You can add more citrus or use a different spirit (or use juice if you don't want the alcohol), put in other nuts or replace the candied peel with extra fruit. You can put it in pretty jars and give it to friends and family. This recipe makes about1.35kg, or 3lbs.

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2 dessert apples, grated

112g suet ( vegetarian or ordinary)

400g dried fruit (we used 175g raisins, 112g of sultanas and 112g of currants, but if you have different proportions in the cupboard it won’t make a huge difference)

112g mixed peel finely chopped

175g soft dark brown sugar

1 orange – the grated peel and juice

1 lemon – the grated peel and juice

25g almonds, chopped

2 teaspoons mixed spice

3 tablespoons brandy (or extra fruit juice)



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  1. 1) Put all the ingredients except the brandy/extra juice in a large bowl. Stir well and cover with a clean tea towel.
  2. 2) Leave it overnight at room temperature so that the dried fruit can soak up the juice and all the flavours mix well.
  3. 3) Put the mixture in an ovenproof dish and cover loosely with foil. Place it in the oven.
  4. 4) The mincemeat needs to go into a cool oven, so is best done when you first light the fire.
  5. 5) Keep a close eye on it because all that sugar can burn really quickly and all you want to do is melt the suet so it covers all the other ingredients. This helps it to store well .
  6. 6) Once the suet is melted, the mincemeat will look like it is swimming in oil! Don't panic, just allow it to cool down, stirring every few minutes.
  7. 7) Make sure you have plenty of clean, sterilised jars ready,
  8. 8) Mix the brandy or extra juice into the cool mincemeat and then fill the jars. Put on the lids and store the mincemeat in a cool dark cupboard.