The difference between homemade mincemeat and supermarket mincemeat is so significant that I would encourage everyone to have a go this Christmas (or to buy mincemeat from a small producer who will have handmade it in small batches at home for you). This minemeat recipe is not complicated, but it does take a little time. Fortunately most of that time is spent waiting for things to soak or cook slowly so you can get on with other things.
Once the mincemeat is made, these easy Christmas Mincemeat Swirls whip up quickly and are a delicious alternative to a Mince Pie.
For the Mincemeat...
200g Bramley apples (peeled and grated)
1 heaped tsp of mixed ground spice
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
225g shredded suet (I use the vegetarian kind)
500g dried fruit (like raisins, sultanas and currants)
175g soft brown sugar
Zest and juice of 2 oranges
(you can also add some brandy, sherry or spiced rum if you want to)
In a large ovenproof bowl or saucepan, mix together all of the ingredients really well. Then cover with some cling film or a beeswax wrap and leave for 12 hours (see, I told you there was lots of waiting). You can give this a stir every so often through the 12 hours if you wish.
After about 12 hours, preheat the oven to gas 1/4 (220 fan). Remove the cling film, give the mixture a
good stir and cover the bowl or pan loosely with a piece of tin foil.
Cook in the oven for 3 hours.
After that time, it will look runny, fatty and weird but give the mixture a good stir and leave it to cool down. Once cold, give the mixture another good stir and then you can pop it either into clean and sterilised jars or if you know you will use it this Christmas, then you can store it in a tupperware tub th
at seals well and place it in a cool, dark place until you are ready to use it
For the Mincemeat swirls
1 packet of ready rolled pastry 1 jar of mincemeat (preferably homemade)
5 (ish) tbsp of icing sugar.
Preheat the oven to 170fan (gas 5) and line a baking tray with baking parchment. Roll out the puff pasty to a rectangle about ha
lf a cm thick. (This recipe works really well with shop bought, ready rolled puff pastry and if using, just unravel from the packet until it is flat on your work surface).
Spread the top of the pastry with a good, even layer of mincemeat.
From the shortest edge, roll up the pastry so you have one large mincemeat swirl sausage.
Cut the swirls into approx 1 cm slices and lay them flat onto a lined baking tray. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until the pastry has gone slightly brown. Leave to cool.
Once cool, mix the icing sugar with a little water to make an icing and drizzle the icing across the swirls.