Mincemeat and mince pies
It is easy to buy mincemeat (or even the complete mince pies). But if you have to buy the ingredients for the rest of the Christmas recipes, then it's easy to mix up the left-overs for some mincemeat. Scroll down for a recipe for mince pies.
some candied peel
dark brown sugar
spices: nutmeg, mace
brandy or other (optional)
lemon juice (optional)
jam jar with lid
leave: up to four weeks (optional)
- Cut up any ingredients that need it (but not too small) such as the candied peel and the glacé cherries. Measure the ingredients and mix them. Add enough liquid (brandy or other spirit, or lemon juice, or both) to moisten the mix.
- Clean the jam jar with hot water. Put the mincemeat in the jar and put the lid on.
- Keep until Christmas, then use it to make mince pies.
- This will improve with a few weeks keeping. The alcohol helps to preserve it. When you cook it, the alcohol will be driven off. I tend to make it after making the as it helps to use up some of the left-over ingredients. The amounts of ingredients are quite variable. This amount tends to fill up a jam jar (although mysteriously the same jam jar seems to take more or less each year!) and also fits in with what I have left after making the Christmas pudding and Christmas cake. However, you can vary the ingredients quite a bit.
- Some people add a chopped apple, and I'm sure there are other variants.
- The suet is a type of beef fat. Originally mince pies were really made of minced meat, and the suet is the last memory of this, so I like to include it. However, you can leave it out completely (not even replacing it with another fat).
a jar of mincemeat
a teaspoon cinnamon
water or milk if necessary
pastry cutters (optional)
time in oven: 20 mins
rubbing fat into flour
roll out and cut pastry
- Measure out the , sugar and spice, and then .
Mix in the egg. If , add a little milk or water, but be careful not to add too much.
- and cut out rounds. Put them in the tart tin. Put a small spoonful of mincemeat in each one (don't overfill!) Cut a smaller round to put on top. A little water acts as glue to stick the top and bottom together. As you can see from the photo above, I ran out of mincemeat (I'd already made some mince pies), so I made jam tarts with the rest of the pastry. Same principle, but jam instead of mincemeat and no top.
- Put the tin in the oven. This needs to cook for about 20 minutes. When cooked, check to see if the mincemeat has come out of the pies (like mine!). If this happens, get the pies out of the tin straight away. If the sugary mixture cools down, it will harden, and it will be hard to remove the pies. Unfortunately, the pies are fragile when just cooked, so it can be tricky to get them out of the tin. A spoon can be useful to lever them and lift them out carefully.
- You can eat the pies when hot, or leave them to cool and eat them cold, or reheat them. You can eat them with brandy butter (prise open the top of the pie and put the brandy butter inside).
© Jo Edkins 2007 -