Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat…

I’m sure everyone’s noticed, Christmas tis but a week away, so it’s more than time for me to be putting up my festive recipes.  This year I’m doing some experimental, some tried and tested, starting with this one for the ultimate homemade mincemeat.  It’s got apple in instead of the traditional suet, so it’s suitable for vegetarians and vegans, and the apple somehow makes it the perfect mix of sweet with an edge of sour, the way perfect mincemeat should be, a mile away from the gloopy sweet stuff in shop-bought mince pies (unless they are from Waitrose).  It’s also laughably easy, and very difficult to mess up.

The recipe is from a book called Christmas and Festive Day Recipes by Sara Peston-Williams, a book so old it’s falling apart, another reason to set down the recipe.

Mincemeat without suet
400 ml dry cider
1lb/450g dark soft brown sugar
4lb/1.8kg cooking apples, chopped
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 lb/450g currants
1 lb/450g raisins
4oz/125g glace cherries, chopped
4oz/125g blanched almonds, chopped
Rind and juice of one lemon
1/4 pt/ 150ml brandy or rum

Dissolve the sugar in the cider under a low heat.  Add the apples and all the other ingredients except the brandy, stir.  Bring to the boil, stirring constantly.  Turn the heat down and cover for 30 minutes or until the apple has gone to a pulp.  Remove from the heat and leave to get completely cool, then add the brandy.

Mince pies to follow…