Back on the Road Again
Mincemeat for Christmas Mince Pies
Gift in a Jar
I am back on the road again and travelling light, as always……..yes, that’s me you may have seen at York Station today with THREE suitcases now, one is my daughter’s case though…….and a laptop bag, a “cabin” bag and assorted small plastic bags; the theory is that I “struggle” back down to near London and offload leave two of the cases with a poor unsuspecting dear friend who foolishly kindly offered to take some heavy stuff back to France for me ~ she has a second home there and knows that I will be laden with Christmas gifts from my family and other essential items needed for the festive season, and as she is driving back and I am on the train she said to bring down as much I can manage……oooops! We are at her house on Christmas day, so I will bring an extra bottle of shampoo champagne to thank her!
With Christmas on my mind, I made a batch of traditional mincemeat whilst at my parent’s house a week or so ago……..a traditional one with suet, BUT vegetarian suet as they are both vegetarians. Mum makes a wonderful mincemeat cake and it is always better when made with home-made mincemeat. This is a VERY easy recipe to make and if you make it now, it will have matured in flavours by the time “mince pie season” is upon us during Advent.
A subtle blend of sweet and savoury with just a hint of alcohol which echoes the ancient practice of adding spice and fruit to meat dishes. I also have a “Boozy Fat Free” mincemeat recipe posted on my blog already, but, if you wish to make a mincemeat recipe with little or no alcohol this is a wonderful traditional recipe for long lasting mincemeat. Mincemeat was always made at home before the advent of commercial brands, and although this is based on an old recipe, this was obviously made after the introduction of sugar into England. In earlier times mincemeat was a mixture of real meat, spices and fruit. The only remaining and symbolic ingredient of this ancient culinary practice is the inclusion of the suet – which can be beef or vegetable suet for vegetarians. Excellent in mince pies and all manner of steamed and sticky puddings. If you cannot obtain suet locally, you can use grated butter instead; place the butter in the freezer until nearly frozen and very firm and then grate into the bowl straight away.
I have a wonderful recipe for Orange and Almond Crumble Christmas Mince Pies which I will share tomorrow……..above and below are some taster photos for now!
I will be off-line for the rest of the day, but I will see you all tomorrow, and I am also VERY excited about meeting Jude (A Trifle Rushed) and Nazema (Working London Mummy) on Tuesday too ~ can’t wait to meet you both darlinks! I will be the one wearing a mince pie in my lapel!!
Traditional British Mincemeat
for Christmas Mince Pies
(Please note that the measurements are listed in cups, as in old fashioned tea cups. Makes 6 x (225g) 1/2lb jars)
2 cups shredded beef suet or 2 cups shredded vegetable suet (or grated butter)
- 2 cups light brown sugar
- 4 cups raisins
- 4 medium cooking apples
- 2 cups currants
- 2 tablespoons candied lemon peel
- 2 tablespoons candied orange peel
- 1 tablespoon citrus mixed candied peel
- 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons mace
- 3 teaspoons ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon almond essence
- 3 tablespoons blanched almonds
- 2 tablespoons brandy or 2 tablespoons apple juice
- 1 lemon, juice and rind of
- 2 -4 tablespoons sherry
Chop the nuts and candied peel finely.
Peel, core and chop the apples into small pieces.
Stir together with all the other ingredients and distribute between in sterilised jars, seal and store in a cool, dark place.
Keep for at least 2 weeks before using in mince pies, mincemeat cakes, mincemeat puddings and steamed puddings.
(THIS IS ANOTHER ONE OF MY GIFTS IN A JAR POSTS.)