Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Apples, again! Make your own mincemeat for Christmas mince pies :-)

We love Christmas cake, mince pies, Christmas pudings and anything full of fruits, so tasty:-)

Another good use for the windfall apples, and less than pretty ones, is to make your own mincemeat - ready for baking those mince pies that will permeate the whole house with heady scents of fruit and spices.

This is another really simple recipe, so you have no excuse not to try it.

I took:

400g grated cooking apples
100g margarine
300g raisins
300g sultanas
300g chopped dates
200g unrefined sugar
half a teaspoon each of cinnamon, mixed spice, nutmeg and cumin
2 lemons, zest and juice
4 tblsps fresh orange juice

60ml brandy

Toss everything, except the brandy, into a large ovenproof dish and stir thoroughly. I use a dessert spoon to measure out the margarine, and you don't need try to break it down into tiny pieces, it's going to melt to make your life easier!

grated zest

dried fruit

I grated the apple straight onto the lemon zest and juice

I used a spoon to measure out the margarine

roughly stir everything together
Place in the centre of an oven pre-heated to 115C for a fan oven, 120C, 250F or gas mark 1/2 for half an hour. Remove from the oven and give it a really good stir to mix everything. The margarine should be very soft and creamy now, and stirring well helps to coat everything with a fine coating of fat which helps it to keep.
place back in the oven

Replace in the oven for a further half an hour, then remove, stir again and allow to cool before adding in the brandy. Stir again then decant into containers and store in the fridge.

after an hour it will look like this

when it's cool, stir in the brandy
I admit to enjoying a spoonful in with my fruit smoothies at breakfast sometimes, on those grey, rainy days when I feel the need for more "comfort" food :-)

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