Thursday, 28 October 2010

Mincemeat (domestic arts 10)

Or perhaps rather than the tenth of my domestic arts posts, this should be the first of my getting ready for Christmas posts...

Finding myself with some spare time at the weekend, and a desire to do something towards getting ready for Christmas, and with a number of spare apples from a colleague's mum's tree, I decided to make some mincemeat! I'd never made mincemeat before - like jam it seemed like a bit too much domestic goddessness when you can get very good stuff in the shop. I hunted around for a recipe - I didn't want to use suet, because even though you can get vegetarian suet these days, I wanted to avoid using something processed. My online research revealed that the recipe I had found in Nigella's How to be a domestic goddess was probably the best one to try, but it also gave me confidence that even while following a basic recipe, you can play around with the different dried fruits used. I can't stand glace cherries, so I put in cranberries instead, and I only used a tiny amount of nuts.

Here is the original recipe in case you want to give it a go:

Hettie Potter’s suet-free mincemeat

Source: How To Be A Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson

Makes about 2kg

250g soft dark brown sugar
250ml medium dry cider
1 kg cooking apples, peeled, halved and quartered
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
250g currants
250g raisins
75g glace cherries, roughly chopped
75g blanched almonds,
finely chopped rind and juice of 1/2 lemon
6 tablespoons brandy or rum

In a large saucepan, dissolve the sugar in the cider over a gentle heat. Add the roughly chopped apples to the saucepan. Add all the ingredients, apart from brandy/rum and simmer for around 30 minutes until everything has a pulpy consistency. Take off the heat and when it has cooled slightly stir in brandy/rum.

And here is the finished result!

I've restrained myself from making mince pies thus far, or my very special mincemeat shortcake, as I know that if I do, all of the mincemeat will disappear before we even get to Advent. I have to confess to having a couple of spoonfuls straight from the jar though.


  1. There was me, thinking I had been a domestic goddess, helping my girls make Rocky Road and Cheese Twists and you have put me to shame with your made from scratch Mincemeat. I wouldn't have known where to start. I am very impressed. I really want to start preparing for Christmas too, but I haven't a clue where to start.

  2. Vivienne - I think Rocky Road and Cheese twists sound fabulous. And you have girls to look after and entertain - I couldn't do that and do all my baking!!

  3. Sounds lovely! I used the same Nigella book and made the Quincemeat (quinces instead of apples) though it does have suet in. I did the Delia trick of putting it in the oven on very low for hours till the suet melted so it seals everything in and apparently lasts alsmost indefinitely. It won't though as it is too good! I've been making stuffed appleas with it.

  4. ooh how lovely to start getting in the Christmas spirit with cooking. I love mincemeat.

  5. Mincemeat is one of those things we always mean to make but never quite get to. You may well have inspired me for this year and I do like the idea of a suet free recipe. Time to pull my copy of the Domestic Godess from the shelf I think!

  6. Juxtabook - I was quite intrigued by the quincemeats as it's on the next page.

    Joan - I am very much into the Christmas spirit - it's never too early and the smells are wonderful :)

    Jane- I'm thinking about branching out into Christmas chutney now...

  7. My mum made mince pies this week and she had found some chocolate mincemeat (there just seems to be chocolate chips stirred in to standard mincemeat mix and softened)which was very nice. But if you were making your own you could add more chocolate...

    Gosh you're organised. I've just realised I have to start Christmas shopping. I swore I'd make my own cards this year (amazed you'll be cross stitching all yours) so have to get cracking on that.

  8. Jodie - definitely not cross stitching all my cards!! The rest have been made with spray paint... Not sure I like the idea of chocolate mincemeat - can't quite get my head around it. Think you can get chocolate christmas puddings these days.


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