It’ll be my little gift to the world this year, or at least just something little to unwrap while your real gift is in the post, promise. If you start by making the mincemeat from scratch a month or two before Christmas you can delight in a well marinated fruits and spice mixture which has soaked up all that delicious booze giving a delightfully festive filling that’ll warm you up any time of the year. In saying that, you can also throw it together on the day and still get a delightful fruit tart with the bonus of happily catering to your vegan friends and family if you prepare the short-crust pastry too.
Source: BBC Good Food.
Prep time: 10 – 15 minutes
- Several sterilised Jars (c.a. 900 g total)
- 300 g Apple
- 175 g Raisins or sultanas
- 175 g Currents
- 175 g Dried cranberries
- 1 x Orange (for rind and juice) or 60 g mixed peal
- 50 g Brown Sugar
- ½ tsp Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Mixed spice
- Liquor (purple death, brandy, rum, sherry, etc)
Finely slice the peeled and cored apples into small cubes (about ½ cm squared, 300 g) and to this mix in the remaining dried fruits (175 g raisins, 175 g currents, and 175 g cranberries). If you’re planning on using the mincemeat within the next day instead of letting it sit for a few weeks, you may want to lightly stew the apple with the brown sugar (50 g) and a little water (20 mL) first to soften the fruit.
Here you can tweak the sweetness/bitterness of your mincemeat to taste by either:
- adding the juice and rind of one orange followed by brown sugar (50 g) or
- by adding the mixed peal and the juice of one orange.
Add some of your preferred festive liquor (about 100 mL) to get the mixture moving and finally add in your spices: cinnamon (1/2 teaspoon) and mixed spice (1 tablespoon). Traditionally, sherry or brandy is added as the liquor of choice for Christmas mincemeat, but I prefer to use a little know cherry-based tipple called Purple Death which gives it a lovely sour twang alongside the sweetness of the fruits.
Sterilise your jars if you’re going to be storing your mincemeat over a few weeks or months by giving them a good wash with hot soapy water and then rinsing them with boiling water before use, right up to the rim and including the lids.
Firmly pack the mincemeat into your sterilized jars and fill up to the brim with more liquor so that the mixture is densely contained up to a centimetre from the top of the jar ensuring that there are no air bubbles. You may have to give the contents a bit of a stir and tap as you put it together. There should be a small layer of liquor above the mincemeat in the jar to accommodate for evaporation overtime, ensuring the fruit stays moist. Store for several weeks or months in a dark, cool place.
Source: Cluck, much & cook.
Mincemeat Pie Recipe
Prep time: 10 mins, then 1 hour (Pastry) and 30 mins (pies). Makes: approx. 12 cupcake-size pies.
- 205 g flour
- 4 tsp white sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 105 g margarine
- 2 – 3 tbsp cold water
Prepare a simple vegan short-crust pastry by combining the dry ingredients and then kneading in the margarine by hand until the mixture resembles crumbs. Add the cold water until it just starts to come together and then store your pastry ball in the fridge for an hour before use.
Line a cupcake baking tin with a little margarine if needed to prevent sticking and pre-heat your oven to 180 °C. Roll out your pasty and line your cupcake tin, keeping enough pastry left for their lids. Fill to about 2/3rd with your mincemeat mixture and adorn with a stylish short-crust pastry lid with whatever designs you like.
Source: Delia Online.
Bake for about 15 mins, keeping an eye on the pastry to ensure a good bake-through, no burnt tops, and hopefully and no soggy bottoms.
The wonderful thing about homemade mincemeat pies is that you can chop and change the ingredients so easily to suit your own personal tastes and dietary requirement. You can feel free to experiment with different dried fruits (apricots, pear, or something more exotic), spices (e.g. nutmeg or cloves), and liquors without having to worry too much about proportions and still get delicious results every time.
Source: LDnifty.com composite image
Serving it up
There you have it, a selection of adorable and delicious Christmas mincemeat pies. Serve them up warm with a dusting of icing sugar, accompanied by a good cup of tea and your favourite people.
Source: The Bee’s Knees British Imports