Is it too early to be thinking about Christmas?
You may lament the fact that the shops are full of tinsel and baubles as soon as we hit autumn, but you've probably already made your Christmas cake - and if you have your own apple harvest (or a few apples left over from something else), here's another way to prepare for Christmas.
If you make a batch of homemade mincemeat now, you can have mince pies that are the envy of your friends when December rolls around. This recipe doesn't contain any suet, so it's a little more healthy than the traditional version, but that does mean it won't last quite as long. Still, it's only two months till Christmas, and you wouldn't expect to have any left over, would you...? (Not when mince pies are so easy to make.)
You can afford to be flexible with the fruits you include - what I used was pretty much dictated by what was in the cupboard. The cherries in particular were an experiment, since my husband loves glace cherries in anything, but it seems to work nicely.
Fills 4-5 jam jars
6 large cooking apples
100g mixed peel
100g glace cherries, halved
2/3 cup brandy
1/3 cup rum
2tbsp lemon juice
2tsp cinnamon powder
1tsp ground ginger
1/2tsp ground cloves
1/2 a nutmeg, grated
- Chop the apples finely (about raisin-sized so all your pieces are similar sizes).
- Combine all the ingredients in a large pan.
- Simmer over a low heat for 2 hours.
- While the mixture is still hot, decant into sterilised jars and store until you need it (the flavours should mature over the following weeks).