For most of my life I’ve shied away from making my own mincemeat, largely because I feel it’s something that takes too long and it’s far easier to just buy it ready made.
Added to this the fact I’ve not been a massive fan of mincemeat until recent years and I’ve never found the need to spend hours of time and effort making the stuff.
However this year I’ve had a change of heart and after testing out a few different recipes I’ve developed a winner.
It’s also extremely easy to make and takes all of 20 minutes cooking , plus around 10 minutes of getting the rest of the ingredients together.
This is an adaptation of Nigella’s cranberry-studded mincemeat, instead of fresh cranberries I’ve used grated Bramley apples but have kept the dried cranberries and added a little extra orange zest.
One of the best things about making your own mincemeat, along with the smug feeling of making something from scratch, is the smell it creates. The warming spices meant our whole flat instantly smelled like Christmas so it’s a great thing to make to get you in the festive mood.
It’s also an easy and creative present to hand out to friends and family and requires minimal effort. It can be kept for up to a month (or three if frozen) after you’ve made it so hold off until November unless you’re planning on cracking into it early.
One thing to note is you should sterilise the jam jars before you fill them up with your mincemeat. You can do this in the dishwasher on hot or if by washing the jars and letting them dry in a cool oven (140C) for 10 minutes.
Ingredients…(this makes enough for two 600ml jars)
- 180ml port
- 75ml brandy
- 6 tablespoons honey
- 3 Bramley apples, grated
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2tsp ground ginger
- 225g currants
- 225g raisins
- 150g dried cranberries
- Zest of 2 oranges
- 1tsp vanilla essence
- 1tsp almond essence
- 225 dark brown sugar
How to make…
Heat the port and the sugar on a gentle heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add the apple, cinnamon, ginger, currants, raisins, cranberries and orange zest and give everything a good mix.
Leave the mixture to simmer for 15 minutes until everything has soaked in and most of the liquid has disappeared.
Take the mincemeat off the heat and add in the honey, brandy, vanilla and almond essence.
Spoon it into prepared jam jars.