When I was little, my mum would buy jars of mincemeat, strawberry jam and lemon curd so she could make mince pies, jam tarts and lemon curd tarts at Christmas. There were four of us children and we could get through a huge amount of these goodies so she’d always make a big batch. When I had my own family, I tried doing the Christmas baking like my mum used to do, but I’m a really terrible pastry maker. They always seemed to turn out too hard to chew! Now I buy the mince pies from Tesco!
Complete Farmhouse Kitchen CookbookThis year I want to try again, but not only do I want to get better at making the pastry, I also want to make my own mincemeat. Ant has a battered copy of The Complete Farmhouse Kitchen Cookbook which I always turn too when I want to find a traditional recipe for something. I don’t know how traditional most of them actually are but it just feels like they should be!
Traditional Mincemeat RecipeI’m using Dorothy Sleightholme’s mincemeat recipe because she cooks the apples and it says doing so helps the mincemeat last longer. Yields nearly 2kg
- 450g apples
- 15g butter
- 225g each of currants, raisins and sultanas
- 125g candied peel
- 125g dates, chopped small
- 225g soft brown sugar
- 175g grated suet
- grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 4 tablespoons rum
- Peel, core and finely chop the apples.
- Melt butter in a pan, add apple and cook gently to soften. Leave to go cold.
- Add the cooked apple and the rest of the ingredients to a big bowl and mix well together.
- Leave in the bowl, covered, stirring occasionally for the next 24 hours.
- Put in cold but sterile jars, do not fill quite to the top. Place waxed paper discs on top of the mincemeat and cover with jam-pot covers.
- Label and store in a cool, dry, dark place.