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Brandied Mincemeat



I picked up a new cookbook the other day.  Yes, I know  . . .  I couldn't resist.  It was Nigel Slater's Christmas book, The Christmas Chronicles.  I expect there will be a television series to go with it over the holidays, which will be good, but I wanted to make sure my collection of his books was complete.  He had a recipe in it for Brandied Mincemeat that looked quite promising and was quite different than my old recipe for mincemeat.


As well as the regular vine fruits . . .  sultanas and currants . . .  it called for dried apricots and prunes.  I love both those fruits and so I decided to give it a go.  There is also some chopped apple in there, plenty of spice, good beef suet, lemons and  . . .  gulp, brandy!

I found that I had to use almost twice as much brandy as the recipe called for, and hopefully it will all have cooked off.  *hiccup*



The prunes dissolved and the mixture was catching on the bottom, and so I just kept adding little bits of brandy to keep that from happening.  The end result was quite tasty however! If you don't want to use alcohol you can use some fruit juice.  Just enough to keep it from catching as you cook and stir it on the stove.  Orange or apple would be great!


*Brandied Mincemeat*
Makes  about 3 pounds
 
My take on mincemeat which was inspired by Nigel Slater's recipe.  If you want your kitchen to smell like a little slice of heaven.  Make your own mincemeat. Mine now has a month or so to mature into what will surely make glorious mince pies come the holidays! 

200g shredded beef suet (scant 2 cups)
200g soft dark brown sugr (1 cup, packed)
200g sultana raisins (1 1/3 cup)
200g dried currants (1 1/3 cup)
200g stoned pruned, coarsely chopped (20 prunes, I counted them)
200g dried apricots, finely chopped (1 1/3 cup)
2 large cooking apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
50g blanched almonds, chopped (about 1/3 cup)
the juice and zest of one unwaxed lemon
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg (I grate mine fresh)
1/2 tsp ground cloves
240ml brandy (1 cup), as needed

This is what worked for me.  Put the suet in a large saucepan and melt.  Stir in the sugar, half the brandy, the lemon juice and the spices. Stir to melt the sugar. Stir in all of the fruit and the zest of the lemon.  Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium low heat for about 15 minutes.  Check it frequently to make sure it doesn't catch, it if it catching, add additional brandy a bit at a time.  You may not need it all.  Have ready several large sterilized jars or containers.  Allow the mincemeat to cool completely.  Divide it amongst your chosen containers and seal. Store in a cool dark place until needed.


It makes quite a lot and so I am set for mincemeat this year!  Let the Mincemeat Fest begin! 


Mincemeat Jalousie.  A delicious light and crisp puff pastry filled with  mincemeat and sliced apple. Served warm with a tasty dollop of creme fraiche. Yum!


Mincemeat and Marzipan Tea Bread. If you like mincmeat you will love this moist and tasty tea bread. We like it spread with cold butter. You just can't beat a slice of this, enjoyed next to teh fire on a cold and windy evening. Comfortingly delicious! 


Mincemeat Rolls.  Fluffy buttery cresent rolls filled with tasty mincemeat, baked and then dusted with icing sugar and served warm. A delicious holiday breakfast addition! 


Spiced Cranberry, Mincemeat and Almond Eve's Pudding. I combined a mixture of cooked Bramley apple, along with some cranberries and the leftover mincemeat, and then topped it with a buttery almondy frangipane batter. Oh my . . . but this is some good. The tartness of the bramley apple and cranberries, offset the sweetness of the mincemeat just perfectly . . . each mouthful is wonderfully buttery, and sweet and tart at the same time. 


Mincemeat Tarts. I just adore these delicious holiday treats! Crisp and buttery pastry encasing a delicious filling of spiced fruits, and dusted with icing sugar. Oh, so very wonderful. It just would not be Christmas without a breadbox filled with these!


Mincemeat and Apple Brown Betty.   A delicious mix of mincemeat, apples and buttery soft bread crumbs. Serve warm with cream or ice cream.   Yum!  


Holiday Split Seconds.  Called split seconds because they can be thrown together quickly and baked just as quick as a wink. These are lovely additions to your holiday cookie trays. Great keepers and very tasty. 

And that's just for starters!

Bon Appetit!





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Marie Rayner
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4 comments:

  1. Have to pin this whole page M! Thank you:)

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    Replies
    1. Thank YOU! Everything is very drool worthy! xo

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  2. Do you have a substitute for the suet?

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