Friday 7 December 2012

Mince Pie Season

The first batch of mince pies this Winter.  Nikon D7000
2nd December 2012

You know when Christmas is approaching as the urge to consume mince pies becomes overwhelming :)

A few years ago, I spent many hours attempting to create a recipe for mincemeat which was low enough in sugar for me to eat.

Luckily I succeeded and for those who are also against the shop-bought stuff (which is often at least 50% sugar), the secret is:

Grated Apple                                               2lb 3oz
Chopped nuts                                               1lb 2oz
Oranges (juice and grated zest of each)          3
Lemons (juice and grated zest of each)           3
Currants                                                       8oz
Slutanas                                                        8oz
Raisins                                                          8oz
Suet                                                              9oz
Mixed Spice                                                  4 tsp
Ground Cinnamon                                         2 tsp
Ground Ginger                                              2 tsp

Start by placing the Currants, Slutanas and Raisins in a sieve and washing through with hot water until all the excess sugars are removed and the water runs clear (it can take a little while!)
Core and grate the apples (can leave skin on) using a coarse grater.
Grate the zest off the oranges and lemons using a fine grater and then juice them.
Place all in a big bowl and give it a really good mixing.

Leave the mixture in the bowl covered with a cloth for 12 hours to allow the spices and flavours to mingle; it takes some time for the orange and lemon juice to soak into all the other fruit and if you taste it now, it is quite sharp!

Cook in the oven at gas mark 1/2 (120 degrees C) for 3 hours, covered loosely with foil.

Allow to cool and then make a batch of mince pies from some of the mix, and freeze the rest; as there is very little free sugar in the recipe, the mincemeat will not stay preserved in jars like traditional recipes do.

In theory, the above quantities makes enough mincemeat for a winters worth of pies for us; however some years I have to make a second batch of mincemeat :)

Have fun!

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