Mincemeat for mince pies

I had never had a Christmas mince pie till I met Dan. It was his first “hot” Danish Christmas in Malaysia and being worried that he would be missing home, I remember how thrilled my mum was when she found them out in Marks & Spencer.

To be completely honest, none of us were particularly open to the idea of mince pies cause we honestly thought a sweet pie with actual ground meat in it sounded a little special to say the least. We have learnt since, that they no longer make them that way and 2 boxes of Marks & Spencer mince pies later, our only regret was not getting more.

Last year Dan decided we were going to try and make our own mincemeat so we can make mince pies this year. I had kind of forgotten about this plan and was genuinely surprised on Friday when he “We are going shopping for mincemeat ingredients tomorrow!”. I thought it was a little early at first, until a quick google search showed me that almost every recipe said 6 weeks and some months!

As I have never made mincemeat before, I did what any sane person would do – I asked Mary. And after looking through her recipe which did not need suet (I still do not know how to pronounce this word much to Dan’s amusement) and consulting a few others, we decided we were going to wing it. Partially because none agree on the amount of booze that goes into it and also because we decided we were making a third (if not less) of the content.

So we made two portions, one with Courvoisier cognac and another with some Rum & Akvavit (Denmark’s national drink apparently!). While we think it tastes pretty good at the moment and will hopefully better in 6 weeks, I cannot tell you how many portions this results in except 2 X 1L Mason jars (and this is after we 1/3 or 1/4 recipes different recipes!).

Recipe per 1L jar (yield to be known)
100gm currants
100gm cranberries
100gm sultanas
150gm flame raisins
100gm candied peel
1/2 the juice of an orange
1/2 the juice of a lemon
1/2 the rind of a lemon
1/2 the rind of an orange
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
125 gm dark brown sugar
1.5 tsp mixed spice
125gm melted butter
50gm chopped blanched almonds

50ml rum
50ml akvavit
100ml Cognac

**Note for the recipe with akvavit, I used 100gm dark brown sugar and 50gm Muscovado sugar**

All combined in a pot

1. Melt butter
2. Add in sugar and let dissolve a little
3. Add in rest of ingredients
4. Remove from stove and let chill
5. Add booze of choice and stir well
6. Sterilise jar in dishwasher/hot water and add to jar.
7. Give another good stir and set aside in a cool dark place. Stir or turn jar over again the next day.

Note – Apparently you can store it in a fridge for up to 6 months. We have left ours to stew in the fridge.

Good luck and enjoy! Let me know how it goes if you try this.

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