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 Cookbook
This 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 Recipe
I’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
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.
Christmas bark is one of the easiest homemade gifts to make. Everyone always seems to enjoy receiving it, if we manage to get it to the packaging stage! If you’re planning on making some Christmas bark and you have children, it’s probably a good idea […]