Jars at the ready it’s another Christmas jarring recipe……I have scoured the recipe land in search of the perfect mincemeat and a few years ago think I found it! After trying various traditional suet mincemeats, baked mincemeats and veggie mincemeats, Hettie Potter’s suet-free mincemeat from Nigella Lawson’s How to be a Domestic Goddess has got to be the best. Not least because it contains half a bottle of cider which is always going to win a Cornish girl over but it is the juiciest fruitiest mincemeat going with a satisfying boozy kick.
I use the large glass jars that supermarket own brand golden syrup comes in and find this recipe perfectly fills 3 of these 680g jars. Each jar makes about 2 dozen mince pies.
Makes about 4lb/2kg
250g soft dark brown sugar
250ml medium dry cider
1kg cooking apples, peeled, halved and quartered
½ tsp mixed spice
½ tsp ground cinnamon
500g dried mixed fruit
75g glace cherries, roughly chopped
75g blanched almonds, chopped
zest & juice of ½ lemon
6 tablespoons brandy (alternatively rum)
Place the cider and the sugar in a large saucepan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves. Add the roughly chopped apples to the saucepan and stir well.
Add the remaining ingredients, apart from the brandy (or rum). Simmer for around 30 minutes until the mixture is soft and pulpy.
Meanwhile wash the jars well and sterilise in a warm oven on 140c or gas mark 2 for 15 minutes.
Remove the mincemeat from the heat and set aside to cool for 5-10 minutes. Stir in the brandy (or rum) and transfer to the sterilised jars.
This mincemeat can be used immediately after cooking if you wish, but improves with age and keeps well. I try to keep a jar to mature for 12 months in a cool dark place and then use for my mince pies the following year.