Delia Smith’s home-made Christmas Mincemeat. Makes 6 lb (2.75 kg) and it is truly scrumptious and very easy to make (i.e. I made it).
1 lb (450 g) Bramley apples, cored and chopped small (no need to peel them)
8 oz (225 g) shredded suet
12 oz (350 g) raisins
8 oz (225 g) sultanas
8 oz (225 g) currants
8 oz (225 g) whole mixed candied peel, finely chopped
12 oz (350 g) soft dark brown sugar
grated zest and juice 2 oranges
grated zest and juice 2 lemons
2 oz (50 g) whole almonds, cut into slivers
4 level teaspoons mixed ground spice
½ level teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ level teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
6 tablespoons brandy
Combine all the ingredients, except for the brandy, in a large mixing bowl, stirring them and mixing them together very thoroughly.
Cover the bowl with a clean cloth and leave the mixture in a cool place overnight or for 12 hours, so the flavours have a chance to mingle and develop – sort of prep school for raisins.
After that pre-heat the oven to gas mark ¼, 225°F (110°C).
Cover the bowl loosely with foil and place it in the oven for 3 hours. Don’t worry about the appearance of the mincemeat when you take it out of the oven, it will be swimming in fat.
As it cools, stir it from time to time; the fat will coagulate and, instead of it being in tiny shreds, it will encase all the other ingredients.
When the mincemeat is cold, stir well again, adding the brandy. Pack in jars that have been sterilised.
When filled, cover with waxed discs and seal. The mincemeat will keep for ages in a cool, dark cupboard .
Vegetarians can make this mincemeat with vegetarian suet. over and out from Delia.
Now make mince pies using the easy pastry recipe from Notting HIll Post or stuff Bramleys and bake – honestly tastes like nectar.