Saturday, October 06, 2007

Cordially Speaking

Apricot and Orange Mincemeat: makes 4 lb
8 oz (250g) dried apricots, soaked overnight
2 oranges, zest and juice
8 oz (250g) each: raisins, currants, sultanas
4 oz (110g) chopped mixed peel
1 lb (500g) demerara sugar
4 oz (100g) blanched almonds, chopped
8 oz (250g) shredded suet
2 level tblsp marmalade
2 level tblsp mixed spice
good pinch salt
4 tblsp sherry
4 fl.oz (100ml) rum
Drain the apricots (pref. used the really dried, not the no-soak kind), pat dry and chop. In a bowl put the dried fruits, the orange zest and juice, the mixed peel, sugar, almonds, suet, marmalade, salt and spice. Mix together thoroughly, cover and leave to stand for 24 hours. Add the sherry and rum and stir well to mix. Pot and cover as for jam.

Cherry and Nut Mincemeat: makes 3 lb (1.5kg)
6 oz (175g) each raisins, currants, sultanas
8 oz (250g) glace cherries
8 oz (250g) cooking apples*
4 oz (100g) walnuts, chopped
4 oz (100g) shredded suet
12 oz (375g) demerara sugar
1 tsp mixed spice
half a pint (300ml) brandy or rum
Peel, core and grate the apples, then place the grated apple with all the other ingredients into a large bowl. Mix well, cover and leave to stand for 2 days. Stir well and pack into sterilised jars. Cover as for jam.
Note: Use firm hard cooking apples, a juicy Bramley could make the mixture too moist.

This old mincemeat recipe improves with storing and will keep for one year. Once opened, if it seemes to have dried out a bit, add little more of the spirit to moisten. Worth making in the early months of the year to add to that Christmas Hamper.
Eliza Acton's Mincemeat: makes 6 lbs
4 lemons
12 oz (375g) each: currants and raisins
12 oz (375g) chopped mixed peel
12 oz (375g) apples, peeled and cored (prep.weight)
12 oz (375g) shredded suet
1 lb (500g) gran. sugar
1 level tsp each of ground: mace, ginger, cloves
1 level tsp salt
1/2 (300ml) rum or brandy
Place the lemons in a pan of water. Bring to the boil and simmer until tender. Meanwhile mince the fruit and mix with the suet. When the lemons are soft, cut in half, remove the pips, and mince the peel and pulp. Add this to the fruit with the sugar, spices, salt and chosen spirit. If a bit dry add more spirit. Mix well and pot up as for jam. Allow at least 2 weeks (and of course up to a year) before using.

Spice 'n Nice Carrot Mincemeat: makes not quite 3 lb
8 oz (250g) cooking apples, peeled and cored
4 oz (100g) carrots, trimmed and peeled
1 lb (500g) sultanas
8 oz (250g) currants
1 orange, zest and juice
4 oz (100g) shredded suet
pinch salt
4 oz (100g) demerara sugar
4 tblsp sherry
1 level tsp each ground: nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, allspice
Grate the apples and carrots as finely as possible. Place in a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Mix well together. Pot into jars and cover as for jam. Allow at least 2 weeks for maturing.