Mincemeat is to the winter holidays what chocolate and beer are to the Stanley Cup Playoffs (I’m serious. Cadbury Mini Eggs and a microbrew during the finals is to die for). Originally a combination of dried fruits, spirits, fat, and meat, over the centuries the meat part has all but disappeared from the recipe, and now it’s more of a dessert type of thing. It does still employ three of the age-old methods of preserving, however: fat, sugar, and alcohol.
I have adapted Allora Andiamo’s recipe from Jamie Oliver‘s website and it is incredible. I quadrupled some things, and other things I just chucked in the amount I had, so it’s not particularly faithful to Ms. Andiamo’s original recipe but I give her full credit.
In a very large bowl I chucked the following, by weight:
55g dried blueberries
475g dried cranberries
575g candied orange peel
250g blanched almond slivers
400g finely chopped marzipan
474g (1lb) shredded butter (put the butter in the freezer, then grate it, or break it into chunks and run it through the food processor until you have fine crumbs)
1kg apples, finely chopped (I left the skins on and used a variety of different kinds, whatever I had lying around)
juice and rind of 5 large oranges
juice and rind of 2 large lemons
1kg soft brown sugar
3 teaspoons almond extract
8 tablespoons rum or brandy (I used both, of course)
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
6 teaspoons ground ginger
4 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon allspice
Give that a good stir, cover it, and leave it somewhere to marinate for about 24 hours.
The next day, distribute the mincemeat into casserole dishes (or, if you are clever like me and used a metal bowl, don’t bother), cover with aluminum foil, and bake at 225°F for 3 1/2 hours.
I stirred mine halfway through, just to be thorough. And also because I don’t trust anything on its own in an oven for three and a half hours.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool a bit. The liquid will thicken as it cools so make sure to stir it occasionally in order for the syrup to coat all the fruit.
Before it completely cools, pour into sterilized jars and seal — can according to your canner’s instructions, or check out our tips to canning here.
Store in a cool dark place for about 3 weeks before using.