Friday, 2 October 2009
I've been thinking about christmas. I know, it's too early but I can't help it. The supermarkets are stocked up with decorations, advent calendars and more. I can't help but notice the sparkling tinsel. To be honest it fills me with hope that this christmas season will be a healthy, happy time. I like being organised and have already started making plans. Stir up Sunday will soon be upon us and with it comes the baking of the christmas cake and (if I get organised) the christmas puddings. I'm sorry to put this christmas talk onto you but I have to share this recipe.
Mincemeat is a staple at christmas time. I make my own mince pies every year but have never attempted mincemeat. I thought about it last year and decided that this year was the time to go for it. Usually the ingredients are mixed cold and then placed into jars or tubs to mature a little before the season but this recipe struck me because it is cooked (in the slow cooker no less). I liked the idea of cooking the apple and spices and warming the fruits in some alcohol. The smell while this was cooking was amazing. There was a real warming scent that permeated the kitchen and the recipe was so easy to make. I'm contemplating making another batch before christmas so that we have plenty to go around and give out. It lasts in sterilised jars for 6 months is deliciously boozey and bursting with fruit. This made several jars of varying sizes.
450g cooking apples
115g candied peel (I used homemade candied pomelo peel)
115g glacé cherries
115g dried apricots (unsulphered apricots have a lovely flavour but use whatever you like)
115g blanched almonds
150ml Sailor Jerry rum (you can use whatever rum/brandy/booze you have)
225g dried cranberries
225g brown sugar
225g suet (I used vegetable suet)
2tsp ground ginger
1tsp ground allspice
1tsp ground cinnamon
Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
Grated rind and juice of 1 orange
Peel, core and chop the apples, chop the peel, cherries, apricots and almonds. Place into the slow cooker.
Put half the rum and the rest of the ingredients into the pot and stir until thoroughly mixed.
Cover and cook on high for 1 hour.
Stir the mixture well then recover and reduce the temperature to low. Cook for a further 2 hours stirring halfway through to prevent the mincemeat from sticking to the sides of the cooker.
Remove the lid and leave the mixture to cool completely stirring occasionally.
Stir the reserved rum into the mixture and spoon into sterilised jars. Cover and store in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months.
Label and give as a gift or keep for your own mince pies!