I’m one of those who laughs in disbelief at this time of the year at any Christmas related things. I tend to forget that some foods need maturing, and should be made well in advance. I usually wake up couple of weeks before the festive period, and then curse myself for not preparing things earlier. Luckily, I’ve just remembered that I need to already make the mince for the mince pies. These are not part of my native culture, and I didn’t like them for a long time after moving to London, but since I started making these (to keep my husband happy) I have grown to like them. I think this recipe is a really good mince recipe. I have only included instructions for the mince itself today, and will be updating this when I make the rest.
225g Bramley apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped/grated
60g dried cranberries
110g mixed candied peel
4 tbsp dark rum, whiskey or brandy
25g finely chopped blanched almonds
1 large orange, finely grated zest and juice
1 lemon, finely grated zest and juice
2 tsp mixed spice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
110g shredded suet
175g dark muscovado sugar
125g butter, room temperature
50g light muscovado sugar
2 tbsp dark rum, whisky or brandy
450g plain flour
180g butter, chilled and diced
50g lard, chilled and diced
finely grated zest of 1 orange
5-6 tbsp orange juice
1. Combine all mince ingredients apart from the muscovado and suet. Cook in a saucepan over low heat for 45 – 60 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the fruit has plumped up, the apples have broken down and excess liquid has evaporated.
2. Set aside to cool, then mix in the muscovado and suet. For adults version, I also tend to add some more alcohol at this stage (3 tbsp), as the cooking has burned all alcohol off.
3. Put in sterilized jars, and mature for 3-4 weeks.