My recent weekend was wonderful and full of Christmas. I finally made the teacup candles for my friends’ Christmas presents, I baked a gingerbread nativity scene (I was going to stop at gingerbread men but was inspired by the variety of cookie cutters at the Reject Pot Shop) I dried orange slices to hang on my wreath and cooked suet-free vegan mincemeat, all the while sipping mulled wine! As you can imagine, my kitchen smelled incredibly festive and was warm and homely.
I wanted to share the photos of my mincemeat in case they inspire anyone else to cook their own. In my humblest opinion, it’s so much better than buying a jar in the shop. I’m happy that I know exactly what is in my batch and it’s super delicious. And I’d finished everything, including washing up, in just 45 minutes!
I found a recipe at A Spoonful of Sugar which was originally published in Nigella Lawson’s How to be a Domestic Goddess cookbook. It’s based on cider and apples and laced with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and brandy. I made a full batch (2kg) which is easily enough for about 60 mince pies – it should certainly keep me going for the month!
Look – I nearly managed to peel a whole apple in one go!
1. Peel and chop 4 large cooking apples (about 1kg):
2. Dissolve 250g of brown sugar in 250ml of medium dry cider in a very large saucepan:
3. Add the apple slices and simmer:
4. Add 500g of dried mixed fruit:
5. Add 1 teaspoon of festive spices:
6. Add 75g of glace cherries and 75g of almonds:
7. Add the zest of a whole lemon and the juice of half a lemon:
8. Give it all a good mix (easier said than done unless you have a bigger saucepan than me) and then simmer for 30 minutes:
9. Take off the heat and allow to cool slightly. Add 6 tablespoons of brandy!
And voila! What a beautiful colour!