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  • Homemade mincemeat

    Am half thinking of making homemade mincemeat. I've found a Mary Berry recipe with butter rather than suet (can't get suet here).

    Is it too late to make it now?

    Plus, has anyone got any handy tips? Mary Berry uses lemon zest and juice, but I think I'd like the flavour of orange better. Plus, any serious downsides if I can't get muscovado sugar and use caster sugar instead? I can probably find demerara, but I think the grains will be too big.
    Living in north-east Spain, where the sun is too hot, the rain too torrential, the hail too big, the wind too windy and the snow too deep.

  • #2
    Vegetarian friendly without suet,sounds great I don't think it's too late but this one stores in the fridge for six weeks & has caster sugar,butter & orange juice in there. Ive never made it before but if all the ingredients sound good the end result usually is too
    Mincemeat recipe - All recipes UK

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    • #3
      Muscovado sugar is for the flavour, caster sugar is fine, I prefer it to the muscovado "darker" taste. Lemon juice helps balance some of the sweetness as the dried fruits are all sweet to begin with, but orange juice would be OK, I'm sure.

      You don't have to be rigid about quantity of the different dried fruits, as long as the total weight stays the same. For instance, my family to a man hate mixed peel, so I add extra sultanas instead, and often substitute chopped dried apricots for some of the other fruit.

      Likewise the alcohol - I used orange flavour liqueur one year, and it was delicious, but mostly I use brandy as I dislike sherry and find rum (unless it is white rum) too strong for mincemeat.

      Unless it's for family only, I don't use cranberries, as these days (now my friends are, like me... ahem... of the older generation mostly) you can't tell who's on warfarin tablets and shouldn't have cranberries.
      Endless wonder.

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      • #4
        Brilliant advice, guys. Thanks a ton. Very useful about substituting fruit, Mothhawk. And that recipe looks yummy, Jungle Jane.

        I'll be off out shopping for fruit tomorrow (bank holiday here for All Saints/Souls).

        I'm proper jolly now. Mince pies after all.
        Last edited by Snoop Puss; 01-11-2017, 09:29 AM.
        Living in north-east Spain, where the sun is too hot, the rain too torrential, the hail too big, the wind too windy and the snow too deep.

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        • #5
          I had a search for Mary Berry's recipe as I've never made mincemeat with butter (didn't know you could). it sounded good so I've made some. It seemed rather a lot of alcohol, but what the heck, it will be Christmas. I subbed extra sultanas for the peel and extra raisins for the cranberries.

          And I didn't have any mixed spice - Mr JS for some reason now puts coriander instead of caraway in his own label, which I don't like, and no longer sells Mr Blacks spices, so I used ground cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

          It made just under three and a half pounds, and it tastes pretty good
          Endless wonder.

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          • #6
            Thanks, mothhawk. I couldn't get currants or peel, so I've got extra raisins and sultanas, some dried apricots and some tropical mix of dehydrated tropical fruit (I think I'll pick out the coconut!). A bit weird, but it'll be better than nothing. Mr Snoop splashed out on a what he says is a medium-priced Spanish brandy. Five euros something he tells me! The leftovers can always go in coffee, I guess. Oh, and I found some lovely soft panela sugar that looks just the job.

            How do you store your mincemeat? I've seen recipes that say store in the fridge, which surprised me. Do you do a secondary sterilisation in a water canner once it's in jars?
            Living in north-east Spain, where the sun is too hot, the rain too torrential, the hail too big, the wind too windy and the snow too deep.

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            • #7
              I like the idea of the tropical fruit mix, Snoop Puss, and I don't think that list of fruits is weird at all, but you're right, probably best without the coconut bits.

              I sterilise jam jars in the oven (15 minutes at gas 3) and the lids I cover with water in a pan and boil for 10 minutes. Then fill jars to within a couple of mm of the top (the less space for air the better) and screw the lid on tight. As this mincemeat has already been simmered the fruit is coated in butter and yeasts killed, so it's not likely to ferment. The alcohol will also act as a preservative, plus, it will all be gone by Christmas (or maybe even before!) so storing in a cupboard should be fine.

              Once I've opened a jar and had some out, I keep the rest of the jar in the fridge, the same as I do with jam.
              Endless wonder.

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              • #8
                Gosh, I thought the tropical mix was ridiculous! But it was the best I could do. Be interesting to see how it turns out. Your response has made me think it could be quite nice, even. I did decide against chopped prunes on the grounds they'd be too squidgy. Though I absolutely love prunes.

                And thanks for the sterilisation tips. I haven't had time this weekend, but I'll try and get round to it during the week.

                Edited to add: I can quite foresee this going quickly. I love mincemeat stirred into apple for crumbles. Might even have to make some more for after Christmas!
                Last edited by Snoop Puss; 05-11-2017, 01:20 PM.
                Living in north-east Spain, where the sun is too hot, the rain too torrential, the hail too big, the wind too windy and the snow too deep.

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                • #9
                  This thread reminds me of the times I was hunting for ingredients for Christmas pudding in Slovakia. I discovered that Goose fat is not a good substitute for suet. That pudding fell out of the basin in a heap, though it tasted good and my guests ate it all. But the next year's one made with butter worked perfectly. Dark brown sugar beet syrup did ok instead of treacle, although it tasted a bit different. And I had to get as creative as you, Snoop, with the fruit and the mixed spices. The hardest thing was to find a pudding basin to steam it in, since Slovaks don't cook anything that resembles a British steamed pudding.

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                  • #10
                    It's surprising what you take for granted, isn't it? Mixed peel is on the shelves of every UK supermarket. Here, it would probably be regarded as an abomination despite all the citrus trees that grow here.
                    Living in north-east Spain, where the sun is too hot, the rain too torrential, the hail too big, the wind too windy and the snow too deep.

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                    • #11
                      I've just made another batch of Mary Berry's recipe - I only have half a jar left from the first lot - it is soooo good!
                      Endless wonder.

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                      • #12
                        Is there a sugar free and butter free recipe?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by burnie View Post
                          Is there a sugar free and butter free recipe?
                          I came across this one when I was looking for honey recipes, but I've not tried it. It's not fat free, but uses a small amount of vegetable suet, and just one tablespoon of honey.

                          Sugar-free mincemeat recipe - All recipes UK

                          I would think that if you use a fair proportion of dates in the dried fruit you could get away with no honey as dates are so sweet.

                          I think there has been a diabetic mincemeat on the vine, just a mo, I'll have a hunt........

                          yes, here it is...

                          http://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/gra...ics_23211.html

                          I don't imagine either recipe will keep as well as those with fat and sugar in.
                          Endless wonder.

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                          • #14
                            Wow they sound nice, I'm only planning on eating it not keeping it lol. Christmas isn't the same without pies, I can manage without the fruit cake.........just.

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