Step 1: making the mincemeat
*For best results, prepare your mincemeat a fortnight ahead of using it in our recipes below
zest and juice of 1 large orange
300g shredded suet
250g dark brown sugar
85g chopped mixed peel
½ small nutmeg, grated
1 large Bramley apple, peeled and grated
Heat the raisins and currants with the brandy and orange juice in a small pan for 3-4 mins until hot – set aside for 1 hr, drain and set the brandy aside. Mix all the ingredients together then pour in the brandy when everything else is well mixed. Spoon and press into sterilised jars. (The easiest way to sterilise jars is to run them through a dishwasher on its hottest setting). Cover and leave for at least a fortnight.
Step 2: Five things to do with it... more-isa mincemeat recipes
1. Christmas Martini
Place 110mlwater, 60g mincemeat and 100g caster sugar in a pan and heat to boil – cool and sieve so you have syrup. Mix 100ml each of gin and sweet red vermouth with 25ml dark rum and 75ml of the mincemeat syrup with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass.
2. Mincemeat pancakes
Spoon 1 tbsp into a thin pancake – roll up and return to the hot pan with a knob of butter – add a squeeze of clementine juice or orange liqueur – heat until syrupy – serve with ice cream.
3. Christmas apples with creme fraiche
Fill cored cooking apples with mincemeat, drizzle with maple syrup and bake – serve with chopped walnuts and a spoon of crème fraiche.
4. Christmas sandwich
Spread mincemeat on a piece of buttered brioche loaf – top with a second buttered slice to make a sandwich – grill until golden brown and serve hot with cream.
5. Christmas sponge
For a seasonal take on a Victoria sponge fill your sponge cakes with a good layer of mincemeat and thick whipped cream – sandwich together and sieve over a mixture of icing sugar and cinnamon.