Thursday, October 17, 2013

Mincemeat and impatience

Yesterday evening I rushed home via the supermarket to make mincemeat and oh my god this stuff smelled AMAZING! Really Christmassy. I'm not sure I can really count it as preserving but it's certainly preparing, and now I can make entirely homemade mince pies all through December.

I also managed to salvage the candied citrus peel I made last year, which contains too much sugar and is pretty much inedible. I soaked it in hot water to dissolve some of the sugar and restore a more jelly-like consistency. Not sure how well this will work...

Having never made this before, I have no idea how long it will last, how it will taste, or how much I will use. Another first for me! It's strangely satisfying to see the jars and think of how hot mince pies will smell in the oven, and the warm crumbly taste...

However, I do wonder if my impatience to get started on this - rather than taking a slower, more tempered approach - might backfire. I feel like I ought to have spent a little more time searching online recipes, investigating how long mincemeat lasts, and sourcing a wider range of dried fruit. I did buy three kinds of raisins (in the absence of currants) but in the end two turned out to be the same kind, and I realised part-way through that we had run out of dried cranberries. Mixing this up while my boyfriend cooked and served supper also meant a rather interrupted process, extremely limited space in our small kitchen for both of us, and a larger than normal pile of washing up at the end of the evening. On reflection, this kind of task would make a better Sunday afternoon project, when I can relax into it more.

But this is all part of the experiment, no? I'm not sure how this recipe works, how the types of dried fruit interact, how switching brandy for whisky will work, how well it will keep, if the citrus peel will blend or still be a bit crunchy. For which reason I think next year I might try making two smaller but different batches so I can try out variations - dried fruit, citrus, booze, spices, potentially adding nuts? Ooh the possibilities!

Do you make mincemeat? Any tips or favourite variations?


  1. I am sure it will be completely delicious! As long as you had fin making it and you have fun eating it then it doesn't really matter if you squeezed It in. I have never made mince meat but I think I might have to have a go... Do let us know how it tastes...

    Eleanor x

    1. Thanks. This was loosely based on the BBC Good Food recipe here: but Delia also has a version online. I will most certainly let you know how it comes out!



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