My favourite treat of the festive season is the humble mince pie. The commercial shop bought variety have led many of my friends believing that they don’t like them but after begrudgingly trying the homemade variety most are now very happy converts.
Commercial mince pies can make me a little sad, they can often lack flavour, be overly sweet and I even oily (it was a Christmas travesty).
Making your own mincemeat may seem like a bit of a faff, but it couldn’t be easier – there is also the added benefit of your kitchen smelling like a grotto for a week.
This recipe will make 3 medium-large sized jars that will keep well for a few months in the cupboard. Once opened you can keep a jar in the fridge and bring it to room temperature before serving – I simply leave my jar out the night before baking mince pies to allow the fruit to soften again.
Yield 3 medium sized jars
- 500g raisins
- 500g sultanas
- 450g apples
- 225g butter
- 350g dark brown sugar
- 50g chopped almonds
- 2 oranges (zest & juice)
- 2 lemons (zest & juice)
- 4 tsp mixed spice
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 6 tbsp brandy
- Core and chop the apples - leaving the skin on
- Cube the butter and add everything (excluding the brandy) into a large bowl
- Cover the bowl with foil and leave overnight to let the fruit soak up all the spices
- On day two place the mixture into two trays
- Preheat the oven to 120°C oven
- Add both trays to a preheated oven and stir every 30 mins or so for two hours.
- Take out of the oven, leave to cool and then add the brandy.
- Store in sterilised jars.
- When you come to bake with your mincemeat, if you find your mix a little dry try adding some boiling water to the jar and leave to soak until you get a consistency that you're happy with.
There are a few different ways to sterilize your jars. I really like this blog post by The Spruce. I like to sterilize my jars in the oven.