Mincemeat I

A traditional English pie filling, home-made mincemeat is rich, flavour some and warming and cries out for light, melting pastry to surround it. Remember to make the mincemeat in plenty of time before those cold winter evenings begin. Mincemeat improves and becomes more moist as the weeks pass, so allow it to mature for at least 4 weeks before using. Mincemeat should be checked during storage to prevent dryness – if it looks dry after it has been stirred, add

1 or

2 peeled, cored and grated apples, or, if you are feeling extravagant,

2 fluid ounces dry sherry or brandy. In this recipe the fruit is left whole, but if you prefer a smooth mincemeat the fruit should be minced first.

1 lb. minced or finely chopped fresh beef suet

1 lb. sultanas

1 lb. currants

1 lb. raisins lo lb. cooking apples, peeled, cored and grated

1 lb. dark soft brown sugar

3 oz. chopped mixed peel grated rind and juice of 1 orange grated rind and juice of

2 lemons

5 fl. oz. dry sherry

2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoon ground mixed spice or allspice

4 teaspoon ground mace

2 oz. ground almonds

7 tablespoons brandy

In a large mixing bowl combine all the ingredients except the brandy.

Spoon the mincemeat into clean, dry jam jars, filling them to within

1 inch of the top. Pour

1 tablespoon of brandy into each jar. Cover the jars with jam covers or aluminium foil and tie securely with string.

Store the mincemeat in a cool, dark place for at least 4 weeks before using.