Boozy Mincemeat for
Let’s Make Christmas
Sun dappled skies enticed me to venture outside sans jumper mid-morning, and as soon as the cold air stole my breath and hung like a cloud in front of me, I knew the time had come, not only to start my festive preparations, but to liberate some knitwear…….however, first there were flowers to be cut, rich colours of magenta, fluffy yellow pompoms and cheery hues of tangerine orange with bright button centres, my late wild meadow flowers were coming in to bring a happy glow to my kitchen table.
The wood smoke that hung in the air and the rustle of the first fallen leaves was a sign that my festive baking was imminent…..well, not so much baking at this stage, but the time was right for my Christmas mincemeat ~ if made today, there would be at least 8 weeks of slow maturing and mingling of flavours before the glistening preserve would grace my table, encased in crumbly shortcrust cases and left on a plate with a glass of sherry for the jolly red gentleman who enters our home via the chimney……
This is a boozy fat-free mincemeat, a loose and carefree mincemeat that is not tightly packed together as some commercial mincemeats are, but is juicy and plump with cider and brandy soaked fruits and citrus peel…….a jolly festive fool with jingling brandy bells and orchard cider apples in every bite…..the essence of the festive season itself, generous and happy. As the mincemeat is gently cooked before cooling and storing, its smell permeates the kitchen and its spicy scent steals through the rest of the house ~ a quick sniff downwind in the salon and I feel quite giddy.
The flowers in the old jug that are set on the kitchen table aid me in my happy pursuit of weighing, and chopping, then stirring and stirring……….it’s too early for carols, so I put Vaughan Williams on and soar with the lark……music and cooking is essential for that happy taste and flavour on the tongue later.
This is an old recipe, a recipe that passes from mother to daughter in a family……a treasured recipe that is made every year, and as one generation steps out of the ring, another steps in and so the cyclical circle continues…..my recipe here has been tweaked, it is an adaptation of the original, but that is allowed, as suspect the recipe that was given to me was very different from the original ~ each generation makes their mark, tweaks and tampers, but it is still the same recipe……..
Make a few jars of this now and they will make perfect gifts for Christmas, that is why I am entering this recipe into Vanessa’s
Let’s Make Christmas
…..a few jars to give as gifts and some for us, for our mince pies and other Christmas baking……it’s all in the giving.
I hope you try a batch of this,it really is a jolly good mincemeat!
See you later,
Traditional Boozy Mincemeat
An adaptation from an old family “Traditional Mincemeat” recipe which was passed down through my Mum’s side of the family. This one however is fat free ~ no suet or butter and it still keeps for up to a year or two; I currently have a jar from 3 years ago which has aged and matured beautifully. I have called it traditional mincemeat as it has all the traditional ingredients apart from the fat and it is very easy to make. I am posting this now, so it can be made and allowed to mature ready for Christmas baking. Where I have stated rum or brandy, please use any strong liquor that you may have available; it’s just that brandy or rum work very nicely with the ingredients. Make some pretty labels, add a paper or fabric lid cover with a ribbon and then hang a scone or biscuit cutter from the neck ~ et voila, a thoughtful home-made gift. N.B. It’s the alcohol that keeps this mincemeat, so if you want a non-alcoholic version, I have a traditional suet mincemeat recipe that I will be posting soon, which does not need much if any alcohol.
- 3/4 pint (450ml) of cider
- 1 lb (450g) soft dark brown sugar
- 1 lb (450g) cooking apples, cored & chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 pinch ground cloves
- 12 ounces (350g) currants
- 12 ounces (350g) raisins
- 8 ounces (225g) sultanas
- 4 ounces (110g) glacé cherries, finely chopped
- 4 ounces (110g) candied peel
- 4 ounces (110g) almonds, finely chopped
- 1 orange, juice and zest of
- 1 lemon, juice and zest of
- 1/4 pint (150ml) brandy or 1/4 pint (150ml) rum
- Put the cider and sugar into a large saucepan & heat GENTLY until the sugar has completely dissolved.
- Stir in the rest of the ingredients, except the brandy or rum and slowly bring to the boil – stirring ALL the time.
- (Please note it is not necessary to peel the apples – just core and chop them up finely).
- Lower the heat and partially cover the saucepan and simmer gently for 30 to 45 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and leave it to become completely cold.
- Stir in the brandy or rum and then spoon into cold, sterilised jars, making sure that the mincemeat is packed down firmly with NO space or air bubbles.
- Cover with waxed discs and TIGHT fitting lids.
- N.B. Kilner jars can be used too – make sure that the rubber seals are new & not perished.
- GIFT IDEAS:
- Design and hand write some labels – or use a Christmas template.
- Make some paper or pretty material lid caps/covers. Secure with an elastic band & add a ribbon or raffia.
- Hang a gift label and a scone, biscuit or pie cutter from the ribbon – the same size as your mince pie tin shapes and you have a great home-made gift for someone.
- I sometimes add a recipe card too, mince pies OR a mincemeat cake & mincemeat oat slices.