Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Scent of Christmas

One of my favourite foods at Christmas time is mince pies. I have loved them since I was a child and always felt fortunate that my sister, Sam hated them with a real passion because it meant all the more for me. Every year I make mince pies but have to admit that I'd cheat with ready made pastry and mincemeat from a jar. Since Sam's wonderful birthday present I no longer buy pastry as my Kitchen Aid makes it beautifully. I felt this pastry deserved homemade mincemeat so I got out my trusted Good Housekeeping Cookery Encyclopedia and made mincemeat. I added rum to the ingredients as the recipe had no alcohol and I omitted the almonds. I made nine jars and was longing to taste the mincemeat but you have to leave it to mature for two weeks.

At last on Saturday the two weeks was up. I was a bit disappointed with the first batch, OK I admit it, I made them on Friday and felt the flavour was rather bland. Sundays batch was much better and todays mincemeat smelt delicious as soon as I removed the lid and tasted even better. Next year I know to leave the mincemeat to mature longer, ie make it in early November. Somehow I suspect I'll be making another batch a lot sooner as Dillon seems to have inherited my mince pie obsession.

It's probably a bit late for this year but here's the recipe if you're interested.

1 lb currants
1 lb sultanas
1 lb raisins
1 lb chopped mixed peel
1 lb cooking apples, peeled and finely chopped
1 lb dark, soft, brown sugar
8 oz shredded vegetable suet
1 teasp ground nutmeg
1 teasp ground cinnamon
Grated rind and juice of 2 lemons

I added generous splashes rum (at least 6 tablespoons)

Mix all ingredients well in large bowl.
Cover and leave to stand for 2 days.
Stir well and put into jars.
Allow to mature for at least 2 weeks before using.


Barbara said...

I love fruit mince pies too. I've just done a post to pop up next week while I'm away. I made the pastry and the fruit mince was a gift. I make tiny one in small muffin pans, although I'm sure my family would like me to make the bigger ones:)

Asha said...

Oooh! I used to Mince meat pies a lot around Christmas when used to live in England!Just a round ones though,your flower pattern looks great. Enjoy!:))

ChrisB said...

They look delicious to me; wish I was sampling them

Beccy said...

I make two different sizes Barbara, those pictured are small, they fit in the mouth in one bite! The others are bigger. My family don't care about size they just love to eat them.

Asha I usually make them with a full top on but saw some last week with stars on. Ben was making star biscuits yesterday so I decided to do my mince pies with stars. As it uses less pastry you get more pies!

I wish you were here sampling them too Mum.

sallywrites said...


I love the stars on the top. I've never made my own mincemeat. I do make my own pastry, but i buy mincemeat and cheat by ading brandy normally. Perhaps I'll try your recipe anyway and make some between christmas and New Year if I have time - or use it a bit early....

I love mince pies too, and I love Christmas cake on a cold January day when everyone has forgotten all about Christmas....


Beccy said...

Sally I don't recommend using it early, it definitely improves with age.

Maybe if you lash in more booze it may help!