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  • Writer's pictureThe Fairground

Making mincemeat out of Christmas!!

Now is the time when we turn our attention to events at the end of year and after last year many of us will be desperate to enjoy lots of scrummy food with our loved ones.

Cooking from scratch is one of the best ways to cut down on packaging. So below you’ll find a handy recipe to make your own mincemeat ready for baking later on.

Would you believe it - historically it was illegal to eat Mince pies on Christmas Day (my family would never of managed this). In the 1650’s in Oliver Cromwell’s period, mince pies were banned along with other treats on Christmas Day.

Traditionally mincemeat contained meat – hence it’s name. In the 18th century they would use tongue and tripe and in the 19th century this moved to minced beef. By the late Victorian period and early 20th century this had been replaced with fruit fillings with beef suet in place of the meat element. It’s easy to swap the beef suet for a vegetable version these days.

Mincemeat can be made in advance and left in a cool dark place in sterilised jars for up to 6 months. Once opened it should be kept in the fridge. The minimum time to make your mincemeat is 2 weeks to give it time to soak up and mix all the delicious flavours. So there’s plenty of time to set aside an hour to make your own.

It’s essentially a mix of fruit, spices and alcohol with a bit of suet which helps preserve and bind it. You can also add your own ingredients to personalise it with 🍎 🍐 🥕 🍒,

💡Tip: Why not share the cost of the Brandy with a friend? To make:

· Add all your ingredients into a bowl (except the Brandy) and stir well to combine · Cover with a tea towel and leave overnight · Heat the oven to a low temperature (gas mark 4, 110 C) · Cover the bowl with foil and place in the over for 2.5 hrs · Remove from the oven, allow to cool and give a good stir · Add the Brandy and again mix well · Fill your sterilised jars

To sterilise your jars: Wash in hot soapy water. Immediately turn upside down and place on a baking tray. Pop the lids on the tray. Pop in the oven 160 C - 180 C for 15 minutes Once cooled enough to handle pop the lids on and leave to cool. Pop away in the cupboard until time to make your mince pies. Happy Baking - Sarah xx

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